Vimpelcom said to sell 60% stake in Telecel

Vimpelcom said to sell 60% stake in Telecel

The government of Zimbabwe is in negotiations to acquire Vimpelcom’s 60% stake in Telecel through its unit Zarnet, according to the country’s ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

Mandiwanzira told parliament that Vimpelcom had offered the government its stake but admitted that the government did not have the immediate capacity to acquire the company by itself. 

“Vimpelcom offered the government of Zimbabwe their 60%. At the same time  Empowerment Corporation (EC) also wrote to the government offering to sell their 40% to them,” said the minister. Telecel is 60% owned by Amsterdam-headquartered VimpelCom and the remainder is held by EC.

“As you may be aware, the government doesn't have enough resources to be financing that kind of transaction.” He said that the Zimbabwean government, recognising that it does not immediately have the financial resources, has chosen one of its 100% owned businesses to perform the transaction in a commercial sense. 

“Zarnet is in the process of negotiating with the shareholders for an acquisition,” he added. 

Vimpelcom had initially found a foreign buyer to acquire its stake but the transaction was blocked by the government, said Mandiwanzira.   

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