Econet Wireless Group CEO Mr Craig Fitzgerald confirmed a statement on the transaction made by Vimpelom to the Cairo Stock Exchange that they have bought 100 percent stake in Telecel Globe Limited, which owns U-COM in Burundi and Telecel CAR in Central African Republic, but this has nothing to do with Telecel Zimbabwe as some people merely speculated.
Vimplecom does not whooly own Telecel, as a matter of fact, “Vimpelcom’s 51.9 percent-owned subsidiary Global Telecom Holding has sold its entire 100 percent stake in Telecel Globe Limited, which owns U-COM in Burundi and Telecel CAR in Central African Republic, to Econet Wireless Global Limited, Vimpelcom said in a statement.
According to reuters, Vimpelcom’s biggest assets are Russia’s third-biggest phone operator, Vimpelcom, and Italy’s third-biggest mobile network operator, Wind. It also has operations in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics as well as Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.
Econet Wireless Global confirmed they have acquired the assets of Russian global telecoms operator, Vimpelcom, the company which amongst other entities owns Telecel in the Eastern and Central African countries of Burundi and Central African Republic.
“Yes, I can confirm that our Mauritius registered telecoms holding company, Econet Wireless Global, has acquired Vimpelcom’s two operations in Burundi and Central African Republic,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
Econet Wireless Global has operations and investments in telecommunications businesses throughout Africa, the UK, Asia Pacific and Latin America. It also holds the controlling interest in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Mr Fitzgerald said the acquisition did not affect in anyway trading by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. “Econet Wireless Global owns a majority stake in the Zimbabwe operation, and it is not the other way round. I know many people make this mistake of thinking that because our Zimbabwean subsidiary is listed, it is also the holding company of all our businesses. That is not the case. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe does not own businesses outside Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said Econet Wireless Global is not a listed holding company and had no plans to do so. Econet Wireless Global is also the parent company of Liquid Telecom, which operates Africa’s largest satellite and fibre optic system, with the latter spanning 12 countries.
Econet Wireless Global is itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Group, a privately held group controlled by leading African industrialist, Strive Masiyiwa, who is based in the United Kingdom.
The group’s interests extend beyond telecoms into areas like renewable energy, financial services and hospitality. It also owns the majority interest in US based Seldon Technologies, which produces nano-carbon filtration systems.