Telecom Namibia to acquire Leo

15 Dec 2011

Namibian state-owned incumbent Telecom Namibia has agreed to purchase 100% of the country’s second largest mobile operator Powercom (branded as Leo), although a spokesperson for the PSTN operator, Oiva Angula, told Reuters there remained ‘legal and regulatory issues to sort out’ before the deal could be completed. Angula said that a further statement on the takeover – which would result in a duopoly of two majority state-owned operators – would be released sometime on Thursday. In June 2011 Telecel Globe, part of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, agreed to sell Powercom (Leo) to UK-registered, southern African investment fund Investec Asset Management and South African banking group Nedbank Group in a cashless deal involving the transfer of the cellco’s USD60 million of debt. Leo (formerly branded as Cell One) has struggled against larger GSM provider Mobile Telecommunications (MTC), controlled by government holding company Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH, the sole owner of Telecom Namibia) and part-owned by Portugal Telecom. Telecom Namibia, meanwhile, has seen minimal take-up of its own CDMA2000 1xEV-DO-based wireless service, Switch, since its mobile launch in mid-2009, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.

Namibia, Powercom (Namibia), Telecom Namibia (incl. TN Mobile)