Dos Santos loses 25% stake in Unitel after BVI court ruling

Dos Santos loses 25% stake in Unitel after BVI court ruling

British Virgin Islands Supreme Court.jpg

Isabel dos Santos has lost control of the company that owns 25% of the shares in Unitel, the Angolan mobile operator.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Supreme Court (pictured) has removed her control of Vidatel, a BVI-registered telecoms operator that owns the 25% stake.

Dos Santos is the daughter of Eduardo dos Santos, former president of Angola, who was removed from office in 2017 after ruling for 38 years.

Isabel dos Santos was at one time said to be the richest woman in Africa, with substantial holdings in Angola’s energy industry as well as telecoms.

The BVI court placed the Vidatel shares under judicial supervision by Angola after investigations were opened against dos Santos. The BVI Supreme Court confiscated the shares and appointed court administrators to manage the assets and all related bank accounts.

The administrators will also control Vidatel’s voting and representation rights at Unitel shareholders’ meetings and Vidatel’s right to receive past dividends and futures contracts.

Dos Santos’s bank accounts in Angola were frozen in January 2020, and in the following month her accounts in Portugal were also frozen.

In April courts in Portugal seized her in the Portuguese telecoms operator NOS.

She was charged with fraud in January andstepped down from the Unitel board in August. 

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