Remaining assets of stricken Rwandatel now up for grabs
The remaining assets of liquidated telecoms operator Rwandatel are now up for sale, AllAfrica reports, citing lawyer Richard Mugisha, who is in charge of the administration process. In April 2012 Rwanda’s newest cellular operator Airtel agreed to acquire mobile tower infrastructure from Rwandatel for RWF9.3 billion (USD15.5 million) to ease its entry into the market.
Assets yet to be snapped up include Rwandatel’s PSTN and broadband network as well as ‘portions of land’. While no fee has been suggested, Mugisha conceded: ‘The biggest assets were the masts and they are gone … the future of telecommunications industry is in data, not voice. As soon as we get someone with the financial muscle to invest in the business, it’s a good opportunity’.
In July 2011 Rwanda’s commercial court approved an application to liquidate Rwandatel in a bid to raise the funds to pay off the company’s creditors. Rwandatel had previously been owned by Libyan government investment vehicle LAP Green Network (80%) and the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (20%), with the Libyan firm buying its stake for USD100 million in October 2007. LAP Green’s increasingly tenuous financial situation was compounded in early-2011 when the United Nations imposed sanctions on the company amid political unrest in the North African country.