Tanzania says Zain to give up state telco shares

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zain Tanzania, part of Kuwait's Zain, plans to give up its 35 percent stake in Government incumbent TTCL, the east African nation's Technology Minister said last Monday.

"Recently, Celtel has shown interest in exiting. But there's need for consultation before that happens," said Peter Msolla, Minister for Communications, Science and Technology.

Msolla made the remarks while presenting his ministry's budget in Dodoma. Zain was originally known as Celtel when the then-Dutch firm bought its stake in TTCL in 2004, and the Tanzanian government has retained that name in its records. Msolla said Zain, TTCL and Consolidated Holdings Corp, which holds shares in state-run corporations on the government's behalf, met late last week over the matter.

"In principle, they have agreed to end the partnership and Celtel exits. Celtel's 35 percent shareholding will revert to the government. We will continue talks on how to offload those shares," he said. The government holds the other 65 percent of TTCL.

Zain is currently trying to sell its African operation but Vivendi has turned down the idea of buying the operation.