Vimplecom the parent company which owned 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe recently sold its major stake to Telecel Zimbabwe, in a move which the government recently confirmed and acknowledged, with latest developments which announced that the Zimbabwean government has finally paid the $40 million price in full.
Last week , #MondayBlues broke news that something was not yet right with the Telecel deal, even though the government had confirmed buying, back home no one really has full control and mandate at Telecel Zimbabwe and the Russians who had ealier on left came back to watch over “their asset”.
However since the deal was officially announced closed from the Zimbabwean side, Vimplecom has not yet changed their position to officially confirm that the deal has initiated or progressed.
In a statement from 18 November 2015, Vimplecom only updated:
Amsterdam (November 18, 2015) – VimpelCom Ltd. (“VimpelCom”, “Company” or “Group”) (NASDAQ: VIP), a leading international provider of telecommunications services headquartered in Amsterdam, today announced that its 51.9% owned subsidiary, Global Telecom Holding S.A.E. (“GTH”), has entered into an agreement with ZARNet (Private) Limited to sell its stake in Telecel International Limited for $40 million.
The ambiguous statement continues which openly shows that all is not well when Vimplecom announced that
Telecel International owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd. Transfer of ownership to ZARNet will occur after customary conditions are satisfied.
Also, the statement does not at any point announce that they have sold and 5 months after, the position statement remains the same raising more questions than answers.
The minister of ICT Postal and courier Services Hon Supa Mandiwanzira was quoted by the Herald saying the money was stuck in a local Zimbabwean Nostro Account, which really spells doom for the deal with latest developments surrounding international relations.
” The former shareholder’s escrow account is domiciled overseas. The other part of the money has been paid locally to Vimplecom’s designated local bank accounts in Zimbabwe.
What is now needed is the finalization of the remittances. However some of the funds are still in Zimbabwe because of issues relating to liquidity for funding Nostro accounts.
According to investopedia, A nostro account is a bank account held in a foreign country by a domestic bank, denominated in the currency of that country. Nostro accounts are used to facilitate settlement of foreign exchange and trade transactions.
While this may never seem to be an issue, especially because it’s still a USD transaction sitting in the Barclays Bank account, there could be a lot going on behind the scenes to scuttle the deal.
The United States government is blocking transactions involving dozens of institutions and individuals as part of an elaborate plan to influence Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections, reported the Sunday mail
Local banks have received communication on “stiff penalties” that will visit people and institutions that do not enforce the sanctions.
In February, Barclays Bank was fined about US$2,5 million for processing financial transactions involving Zimbabweans and businesses on the list.
This deal is certainly part and parcel of the same transaction and may be facing the same sanctioning which will see it crumble, we assume.
While no official communication has been said to confirm this development, the latest revelation point to it is that the deal is at risk of facing the same jeopardy unless the Vimplecom team can talk its way out of the status quo.