BEE Partner wanted for Cell One in Namibia

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Cell One's state-required hunt for black economic empowerment (BEE) partners, which will transfer some of the shareholding of sole owner Telecel Globe back into Namibian hands, starts today.

One hundred per cent of Namibia's second mobile operator currently belongs to the Egyptian telecoms giant, Orascom Telecom Holdings, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Telecel Globe.

When Orascom bought Cell One for some N$600 million from Telecom Management Partner (TMP), NamPower, Old Mutual Namibia and Nam-mic in January, it was on condition that the company invites BEE partners within six months. Namibia's new Communications Bill requires a 51 per cent Namibian shareholding for all operators. Company deals concluded prior to the implementation of the act, are excluded from this requirement, though.

Except for requirements that prospective partners must have a broad-based BEE background and be able to guarantee adding value to Namibia's second mobile operator, nothing about Cell One's prospective BEE deal is cast in stone. The process will, however, be open and transparent, Cell One Chief Commercial Officer Chris Keeping assured at the launch lasst week.

NedCapital, appointed as financial advisors to Telecel Globe, will handle the entire process locally with Cell One playing an "extremely limited" role.

The company specialises in corporate financial advice and project financing and has been involved in some of the major BEE transactions in Namibia, including Old Mutual Namibia and Nedbank Namibia.

The Namibian