The Ugandan government has taken over Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) after Libya’s LAP Green Network, the firm’s majority shareholder, failed to inject sufficient capital to turn around the fortunes of the ailing telco. According to All Africa, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija made the announcement on 1 March in Kampala, adding that the government was notified that UCOM, a subsidiary of LAP Green, is not in a position to supply the required funding. Mr Kasaija also noted that Ucom has directed its five representatives on the UTL board to resign, commenting: ‘The government has decided to take over the affairs and management of UTL with immediate effect, and will engage UCOM to ensure an orderly transition.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UTL was originally privatised in June 2000 when a 51% stake was sold to the UCOM consortium – comprising Switzerland-based Telecel International, Egypt’s Orascom Telecom and German consultancy Deutsche Telepost Consulting (DeTeCon). In March 2007 the government agreed to increase UCOM’s holding to 69%, and the following month it was announced that LAP Green had acquired UCOM’s 69% stake in UTL. The Ugandan government retained the remaining 31% of the company’s shareholding.