Telecel to List On Zimbabwe’s Stock Exchange for Indigenisation Compliance

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

TELECEL Global, partners to Empowerment Corporation in Telecel Zimbabwe, intends to list the local mobile company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange as part of initiatives to comply with the country's indigenisation strategy.

Telecel Global has a controlling 60 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe, the country's second largest mobile company, while Empowerment Corporation holds the remainder.

Telecel Global chief executive Mr Kai Uebach told a media briefing in the capital last week that EC had pre-emptive rights and would be given the first option to purchase Telecel Global shares at market rates.

"We are definitely going to comply with the country's indigenisation laws - that is why I met with Minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere (Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment).

"We are most likely to go public after resolving all outstanding issues. Listing is more transparent and will resolve some of the speculations. Through listing, we will raise more money because we will have broad-based shareholding," said Mr Uebach.

He added that there were economic considerations to be taken into account. Telecel Global had secured much of the funds Telecel Zimbabwe had required for its growth.

Apart from meeting journalists, Mr Uebach also held discussions with the Minister Kasukuwere on how the company intends to meet the indigenisation thresholds.

He also met Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Nicholas Goche and authorities from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority on their plans to regularise Telecel Zimbabwe's licencing issue.

Potraz cancelled Telecel Zimbabwe's licence after Telecel International abandoned its earlier obligation to offload 20 percent of its shareholding from 60 percent to indigenous players in the joint venture.

Since then, the company has been operating without a licence after Telecel International appealed to the then Minister of Transport and Communication Chris Mushohwe, who left the portfolio before concluding the matter.

Mr Uebach's meeting with Minister Goche could see a decision regarding resolution of the matter being made.

TI had entered into partnership with locals who own 40 percent of the Zimbabwean subsidiary.

The parent company had been allowed to raise its shareholding to 60 percent on the understanding that after five years it would roll back its stake by 20 percent.

It is understood that the company was actually offering 11 percent, which is being linked to James Makamba who fled the country in 2004.

The Herald