IN BRIEF:

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- In Ghana, Kofi Kludjeson who was involved in the theft of money from mobile operator Kasapa and disqualified from being a director of company for four years in 2005 has taken action against the company claiming he was misled about its ownership and that he should be able to resume his shareholding in the company. In making the disqualification order in 2005, the Judge involved described Kludjeson as being “very greedy and at worst fraudulent”.

- The Kenya government has moved to amend a shareholding rule that has been blamed for the many failed attempts to bring new service providers into the telecoms market. Information and Communications minister, Mutahi Kagwe, has published a Gazette notice reducing the minimum shareholding that Kenyans must have in a consortium of bidders from 30 to 20 per cent.

- Telecom Egypt has reported a 4% dip in first half profits as a result of a one-off charge to account for problems in Algeria. Profit of EGP998 million (USD177 million) fell well below forecasts. Chairman Akil Beshir told Reuters a major factor in the decline was that it deducted EGP258 million as a one-off provision in case it loses its investment in Algeria, Lacom, a fixed line network operator. Lacom has complained that it faces unfair competition from Algerie Telecom and that the regulatory authority has not been helpful.

- The planned sale of stake in mobile phone service provider Safaricom faces a court hurdle over company's ownership. ODM said it will file a case in court to stop the anticipated Initial Public Offer, seeking to sell 25 per cent stake estimated at Sh34 billion to the public. Presidential hopeful Raila Odinga said the Government must first clear the air on the owners Mobitelea Ventures that owns five per cent stake in Safaricom. Odinga, who was accompanied by ODM secretary-general Anyang' Nyong'o and Kamukunji aspirant Tony Gachoka, said the Government was hurrying the privatisation process to raise money to fund its election campaigns.