Sonangol claims victory over dos Santos in Unitel appeal decision

29 Jan 2021

Angola’s state-backed oil firm Sonangol – owner of 50% of Angolan mobile market leader Unitel – has claimed a final legal victory over embattled businesswoman Isabel dos Santos at the Paris Court of Appeal, which upheld a 2019 arbitration decision of the International Chamber of Commerce ordering dos Santos’ Vidatel company to pay indemnities of USD339.4 million to fellow Unitel shareholder PT Ventures (PTV – then owned by Brazil’s Oi, but wholly acquired by Sonangol in January 2020). With its appeal now quashed, Vidatel was also ordered to pay EUR300,000 (USD363,000) in compensation to PTV (Sonangol) plus legal costs.

TeleGeography notes that Angolan tycoon Isabel dos Santos lost control of Vidatel – owner of a 25% Unitel stake – in December 2020 under a decision of the Supreme Court of the British Virgin Islands which appointed judicial administrators to manage Vidatel’s assets. This event came a year after the stake was seized under a Provincial Court of Luanda ruling, as part of President Lourenco’s anti-corruption drive targeting assets held by figures associated with the regime of Ms dos Santos’ father, former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Angola, Oi, Unitel (Angola)