08 June 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Afrimax, the company that has run a number of mobile operations in Africa under the Vodafone brand, says Vodafone Zambia will have “new ownership”.
The company said in a brief statement that it will announce
a new CEO – in succession to Lars Henrik Stork, who is
retiring – and "other structural changes including new
ownership of Vodafone Zambia".
Vodafone’s corporate headquarters in the UK
shrugged off an enquiry from Capacity by saying: "This is a
former partner market that we no longer have an association
But Afrimax appears to have been unwinding a lot of activities
across Africa – some using the Vodafone brand
– over recent months.
In February Afrimax Uganda lost the right to trade as Vodafone
Uganda after going into creditor protection, with debts said in
local media to be almost 300 billion Uganda shillings ($78
That followed months after Afrimax’s operation in Cameroun,
also branded as Vodafone, closed down after a licensing
Those two closures left only Zambia in the Afrimax portfolio,
also operating until now as Vodafone under the UK-based
group’s Partner Markets scheme. Now the Zambian business appears to be about to
Gilbert Temba, chair of the Afrimax board, gave no hint about
the "structural changes" that face Vodafone/Afrimax Zambia.
But Afrimax has also been selling off its non-Vodafone-branded
businesses. In February it sold Busy Internet Ghana to a local
company, AI Technologies. It told local media at the time that
this was part of its "strategy aimed at reorganising its
corporate structure with a view to enabling continued
improvement in the delivery of its strategic goals, thereby
allowing it to focus on key commercial and financial priorities
in its focus markets".
Three years ago Afrimax said it had raised $120
million from Mitsui, International Finance
Corporation, and others to build 4G networks in 12 Africa
markets, where it had licences to build TD-LTE networks
– the version of 4G that is said to be more suitable
for fixed internet access.
Stork was group COO of Afrimax, though his role has changed as
the group has closed down a number of operations. He said in
February: "The successful sale of our business in Ghana is in
line with our restructuring strategy aimed at building a
next-generation 4G business in Africa."
Stork has worked in African telecoms since 2005, when he was VP
of operations of Celtel International – the
Amsterdam-based African group that was later bought by Zain and
subsequently sold to Airtel.
Capacity has asked Stork to comment on Afrimax and