Rumours denied – Zantel NOT to be sold, Etisalat increases share

6 Oct 2014

Reports last week that Etisalat’s 65% stake in its Tanzanian unit, Zantel, is to be sold, have been quashed by the mobile operator’s chairman, Mr Essa Al Haddad. According to Bloomberg on 30 September, the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications company was working with Deutsche Bank to make a possible sale of its shares in Zantel, with Vodacom and Millicom named as prospective buyers. Neither company commented on the topic. However, contrasting reports from Tanzania Daily News state that four days later, during the opening of a new store in Dar es Salaam, Haddad dismissed this claim before moving on to announce that Etisalat had actually purchased another 20% stake in the cellco. The chairman said: ‘We have only read the reports but last week Etisalat increased its shares from 65% to 85% in Zantel.’ The remaining 15% is held by the government of Zanzibar. Haddad went on to explain ‘We don’t plan to purchase more shares. Actually we are happy with the local partnership we have here in Tanzania. I think the local partner brings many value to the business and to the company and we would like to maintain that.’ No statement from Vodacom or Millicom has been forthcoming.

Tanzania, Etisalat UAE, Millicom Tanzania (Tigo), Vodacom Tanzania, Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel)