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Gemcorp wins $189m deal to expand and manage Angola Telecom

Angola map.jpg

A London-based asset management group, Gemcorp, has won a deal from the government of Angola to manage, renovate and expand state-owned Angola Telecom’s networks.

According to the Ecofin news agency, Gemcorp has a US$189 million contract for the work.

The partnership is part of the Angolan government’s strategy to restructure Angola Telecom, the country’s incumbent operator.

In September 2021, the government launched a process to select a private partner for a 15-year contract for the management and operation of the incumbent operator’s national telecommunications infrastructure, its metropolitan fibre network, and its businesses.

This partnership should allow Angola’s operators “to benefit from access to a robust and redundant national coverage network, and to offer their subscribers quality services at competitive prices”, said the government.

The Angola Telecom group includes satellite company Infrasat, subsea carrier Angola Cables, broadband operator TVCabo and mobile operator Movicel.

In June 2021, Gemcorp Capital was one of the institutions involved in a syndicated loan of $105 million to Africell, which built a new data centre in Angola’s capital, Luanda, in partnership with Angola Cables.

Gemcorp Capital, with a head office in Mayfair in London, was founded in 2014 and has invested $6 billion in credit and equity transactions since it started. It also has offices in Luanda, Geneva and Dubai.

The Angolan government’s restructuring process for Angola Telecom is part of a broader strategy to improve the country’s economy by greatly involving the private sector.

Under that strategy, the country sold 51% of its stake in internet provider Net One and 90% of its stake in Multitel Serviços de Telecomunicações, which provides internet services to businesses.

A few weeks ago the government of Angola took over the 50% of another operator, Unitel, that it did not already own.

Angola seized the shares from Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, a former general in José Eduardo dos Santos’s government, and Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the deposed president. The current government, which took over after President dos Santos was replaced, already owned 50% of Unitel through the public company Sonangol.