Etisalat considers sale of Zantel in Tanzania

01 October 2014 | Kavit Majithia


Etisalat is reportedly considering the sale of its Tanzanian unit Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel).

The UAE-based company is evaluating its options for the sale of 65% of its stake in Zantel, and is working with Deutsche Bank on a possible exit from the country, according to private sources.

Zantel is Tanzania’s largest ISP, and a possible acquisition has attracted interest from mobile leader Vodacom Group and Milicom.

A deal for Zantel will give its suitor access to additional spectrum in Tanzania, given increased demand for mobile data in the country.

Tanzania has been relatively slow in accessing data compared to other countries in Africa.

The country had approximately 57% of people with wireless access in 2012, compared to 71% in Kenya and 131% in South Africa, according to Bloomberg.

Etisalat released figures last year that revealed Zantel had $85 million in sales last year, but was also in default for non-payment on a $96 million bank facility.

Zantel has approximately 1.7 million subscribers, and is the fourth-largest wireless player in the country.

Capacity Africa will be held in Dar es Salaam later this month.