Reports from Zimbabwe suggest that local billionaire Strive Masiyiwa is struggling to find a buyer for part of his stake in pan-African fibre network operator Liquid Telecom Holdings. According to Bloomberg, Masiyiwa is looking to sell between 20% and 34% of Liquid Telecom for up to USD600 million, with the funds to be used to repay a USD375 million government loan to his failed pay-TV business Kwese TV.
Masiyiwa was planning to repay the debt from the proceeds of an initial public offering (IPO) in Liquid Telecom, which was scrapped because of volatile equity markets, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. The businessman holds a 66% interest in Liquid Telecom, which operates in 13 countries in east, central, and southern Africa, with data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi. He is also the main investor in Zimbabwe’s largest cellco by subscribers, Econet Wireless, via his Econet Global division.