Money – In Brief
- Kenyan cableco Wananchi Group, which offers triple-play services using the ‘Zuku’ brand, has announced that it has raised USD57.5 million worth of growth capital from a group of international investors. US-based firm Liberty Global Inc (LGI) – which owns cable operations across Europe and Latin America – is one of the key investors behind the latest round of financing; the investment marks LGI’s first cableco-related activity in Africa. Other new investors include Oppenheimer Funds and Sarona Asset Management, a Canadian emerging markets fund manager known for its ‘impact investments’. Existing Wananchi investors include leading private equity firm East Africa Capital Partners (EACP) and Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a Pan-African private equity firm.
- In Zimbabwe, mobile operator Econet Wireless is selling its shareholding in Afre Corporation and Rainbow Tourism Group in the wake of financial misdemeanours unearthed at Afre, which prompted Government intervention. In a related news, the mobile operator announced that it has earmarked investment of USD400 million this year to improve its network coverage and performance, its range of services and customer care.
- Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT), which owns a 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom (TT), has warned that union activity within the telco could potentially give foreign investors a negative image of the country. ‘At this point in time, if potential foreign investors look to Tunisie Telecom as a case study for what it is like to invest in the country, we think that they would have a lot of questions about how secure their investment would be,’ EIT chief executive officer Deepak Padmanabhan told AFP.
- Telkom Kenya, a France Telecom subsidiary, is looking to raise cash as it continues it restructuring plans that will see the elimination of more than 400 jobs. According to sources close to the company, it is putting up a number of assets for sale in the hope of increasing revenue reserves as competition in the telecom sector continues to grow in Kenya.