Brazilian telco Oi completed the sale of its 25% stake in Angolan mobile market leader Unitel to Angola’s Sonangol on 24 January 2020, effectively raising the state-owned oil firm’s Unitel share to 50% as it already held 25% via its telecoms subsidiary MSTelcom. Two other 25% tranches in Unitel are owned by Geni – led by Angola’s General Leopoldino do Nascimento (‘General Dino’) – and Vidatel, controlled by Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, although the latter’s shares are currently subject to a court-ordered asset freeze.
The deal also involved Sonangol acquiring Oi’s 40% stake in Angolan corporate-focused broadband operator Multitel. TeleGeography notes that the transaction makes Sonangol the largest shareholder in Multitel, with the other existing owners being state-run Angola Telecom (30%), Bank of Commerce & Industry (20%) and others (10%).
In its statement on Friday Oi confirmed that its indirect subsidiary Africatel Holdings sold and transferred all shares issued by Portuguese holding company PT Ventures to Sonangol. PT Ventures held the shares in Unitel (25%) and Multitel (40%), as well as rights to dividends declared by Unitel, which are due and payable, and the rights arising from the final award ordered by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in the arbitration initiated by PT Ventures against Unitel’s other shareholders. The aggregate transaction amount is USD1 billion, of which: USD699.1 million was paid to Africatel by Sonangol on 24 January 2020; USD60.9 million had already been paid to Africatel before completion; and USD240 million is to be unconditionally paid to Africatel by Sonangol by 31 July 2020 with a guaranteed minimum monthly inflow to Africatel of USD40 million beginning in February 2020. The deal was approved by Oi’s Board of Directors, Africatel’s competent corporate bodies and also by the 7th Corporate Court of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Judicial Reorganisation Court).