Telecel at risk of losing licence unless it secures local investor

31 May 2013

The Zimbabwean mobile operator Telecel has been told that it must adhere to regulations governing foreign ownership or face losing its wireless concession. The company is currently 60%-owned by Telecel International, a unit of Orascom of Egypt, which is itself owned by Russia’s Vimpelcom Group. The law states that 60% of the company’s shares must be locally owned, and the Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche is threatening not to renew Telecel’s licence when it expires later this year. Vimpelcom had hoped to resolve the issue by finding a buyer for its entire 60% stake, but has struggled to find an interested local party. Telecel is the second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, with more than 2.5 million subscribers and a 20% market share.

Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe, VEON