DRC sale blocked by CWN

24 Oct 2011

Vodacom’s local partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Wireless Network (CWN), has filed court papers to block the proposed sale of Vodacom’s 51% stake in Vodacom Congo, reports Reuters. Vodacom is looking to offload its Congolese operation and bring to an end an ongoing dispute with CWN over the company’s funding and structure.

The chairman of CWN, Alieu Conteh claims that his company filed the papers after Vodacom failed to share details of the sale with CWN, or grant its request to exercise its right of first refusal. Complaining that CWN had been kept in the dark about the divestment, he said ‘we will cooperate, we just want transparency.’

Moto Mabanga, a former consultant for Vodacom who is already involved in a court case against the South Africa-based group, added that he would also move to prevent the sale until he had reached a settlement. Mabanga’s litigation is for a ‘success fee’ of USD40.8 million he believes he is owed for work done for Vodacom in 2007 and 2008.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, MTN Group is one of the parties considering purchasing Vodacom’s share in the company, as is Angola’s Unitel. There are reportedly at least two further companies interested in the sale, but no names have yet been disclosed.

Congo, Dem. Rep., Vodacom Congo (DRC), Vodacom Group