Viettel, Bestinver call truce; new cellco could launch in Sep-14

6 Mar 2014

A long-running shareholder dispute between Vietnam’s military-backed Viettel Group and Cameroon-based Bestinver Asset Management has been resolved, Jeune Afrique reports, paving the way for Viettel Cameroon to enter the local mobile market in September 2014. Following extensive negotiations, which saw company representatives meet in both Hanoi and Yaounde, it has been decided that Viettel Cameroon will be reorganised as a limited company. Previously, the Vietnamese group had demanded either a change in the capital structure of Viettel Cameroon (in its favour), or a greater financial commitment from his Cameroonian partner. Going forward, Bestinver’s Ahmadou Baba Danpullo will remain the chairman of the board of directors of Viettel Cameroon, while Nguyen Duy Tho, general manager of Viettel Global, has assumed the vice-president position.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the 70/30 joint venture between Viettel and Bestinver beat off rival bids from the likes of Maroc Telecom, Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel and Technologie et Systeme d’information for the licence, after pledging to invest nearly XAF200 billion (USD400 million) in the rollout of a mobile network that will cover 81% of Cameroon’s territory from launch.