Investors Stampede for 60 pc Telecel Stake

Local and foreign investors are jostling for the 60 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe owned by Government. The revelation came from the Minister of ICT and Cyber Security Hon Supa Mandiwanzira while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, ICT and Cyber Security.

With President Emmerson Mnangagwa preaching Zimbabwe’s open-door policy to foreign investors, Telecel Zimbabwe’s stake held by Government is proving attractive to many.

“We have had offers in writing by organisations that want to purchase even the 60 percent stake owned by Government. They have offered to buy government out.

We have also had enquiries from South Africa, and from Dubai and from other international firms that want to buy into this,” he said. “I believe we made a wise decision and when we dispose I think we can come out handsomely.”

Minister Mandiwanzira revealed that the rationale for acquiring a 100 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe was to dispose it.

“A decision was made by Government, we must buy and a further decision was taken that we must buy even the remaining 40 percent and get this entity to be 100 percent owned by the Zimbabwean government.

“Not to necessarily keep this shareholding but to sanitise it and eventually make a decision on whether to take it to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange so investors can come in and invest who are Zimbabweans or to sell it to a global group that would then grow the business,” said the minister.

He gave a background on the transaction process saying they got wind of the sale of the stake and ultimately snapped up the 60 percent initially fetching $110 million negotiated down to $40 million.

Minister Mandiwanzira also said NSSA was told to enter the deal as a financier alongside Universal Services Fund and others.

He also revealed that the reason why Vimpelcom wanted to relinquish the 60 percent stake of Telecel was that they were not impressed at the running of the company.

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