BTCL IPO to be announced by end-2015
The government of Botswana expects to launch an initial public offer (IPO) for shares in national fixed line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) by end-December. The much-delayed privatisation will see the state selling off 49% of the telco, with a 44% stake available to the general public and 5% reserved for BTCL employees. Once the IPO is announced, prospective purchasers will be given around eight weeks to register their interest, the government says.
Having initially been planned for 2011, the sale first ran into problems in 2012, before an IPO was cancelled in August 2014. The offer was then rescheduled for November that year, but problems with the sale of shares to employees caused yet another postponement to the end of the following month, but this date too was missed. Earlier this year Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, said the delays could also be attributed to problems with the transfer of infrastructure from BTCL to national networks firm BoFiNet. Mabeo said that the original ‘Possession and Use’ agreement, which was due to be signed in November 2014 ahead of the planned IPO the following month, was not ‘fit for purpose’. A new Possession and Use document was eventually signed on 4 March 2015, transferring all BTCL infrastructure to state-owned BoFiNet, which was established in 2012 to take over the running of the country’s telecoms networks, with BTCL acting purely as a service retailer.
Source: Telegeography 16 November 2015