The government of Zimbabwe, through through ZARNet (Pvt) Limited, which falls under the ICT, Postal and Courier Services ministry, has completed the take over of Telecel International Limited. The deal worth $40 million was completed after an initial payment of $29 million was made to previous majority shareholders Global Telecom Holdings SAE. The remaining $19 million will be paid as deferred consideration, which means ZARNet will pay the balance from revenue earned in the future. Government now has a 60% in Telecel and still intends to secure 100% shareholding of the company. “Government’s intentions remain to secure 100% shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe, in the process sanitising the numerous shareholder related disputes that have dogged business growth and scared away investors”, said ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira. The move means Government now owns two of the three mobile networks in Zimbabwe. According to Newsday, the second quarter results of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe revealed that Telecel had 1 783 682 active mobile subscribers, with NetOne having 4 512 359 and Econet 6 714 832. Collectively, government now has more subscribers on its networks than Econet.
The remaining 40% of Telecel is owned by the Empowerment Corporation who have, in turn, mortgaged 15% to Brainworks Capital as a part of a loan agreement. Telecel Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Angeline Vere confirmed the transaction in an emailed statement to NewsDay yesterday. “We can confirm that Global Telecom Holding SAE, a subsidiary of VimpelCom Ltd, has completed the previously announced sale of Telecel International, which owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe, to ZARNet,” she said. “Completing the transaction brings clarity to Telecel’s business, allowing for recapitalisation, growth, and numerous opportunities to fulfil our corporate values, continuously improve customer service, drive innovation, and deliver value for money.” (Newsday, December 1 2016).