In a cryptic update of the ‘operational footprint’ included on its company website, Libyan telecoms holding company LAP Green Network has indicated that it is poised to launch services ‘imminently’ in Sierra Leone (as Ambitel) and Togo (under the GreenN Togo brand). In addition, the company plans to officially inaugurate wireless services in newly independent South Sudan; LAP Green has operated in Sudan as Gemtel since acquiring an 80% stake in the cellco in January 2010. In addition, the Libyan telco has designated Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea as markets in which it has lined up ‘prospective’ acquisitions of either licences or mobile phone operators. The map is accompanied by a mission statement whereby LAP Green declares its ambition to situate the company alongside regional powerhouses MTN Group, Vodacom Group and France Telecom-Orange, all of which boast a strong presence in Africa. Further, LAP Green says that it is ‘aggressively seeking growth opportunities on the continent that are of a strategic fit’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in November it was reported by the UK press that Centamon, a company controlled by British consultancy firm Levant Group, and Demco, a Greek investment firm, had acquired a 65% stake in LAP Green for USD270 million. Days later the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) denied that it had completed any such deal. Wafik Shater, incoming chairman of the board of directors, told Reuters Africa: ‘There was never a signed agreement with any of them to sell LAP Green or any of its individual operations’. However, Shater did confirm that LAP Green’s previous management team had been involved in talks with potential buyers, although they were replaced following the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, and no such deal was ever completed.