On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Morocco's second phone operator, Méditel, achieved a USD 54.5Mn net earning in 2006, i.e. a 266% increase compared to 2005. The turnover of the company, present in Morocco since 1999, moved from USD 500Mn in 2005 to USD 560Mn in 2006, i.e. a 9% increase. Méditel also injected some USD 180Mn in investments in 2006, i.e. a 46% increase compared to 2005. The company, which has invested some USD 2.5Bn over seven years, has extended its network all over the country to reach a 96.3% coverage rate.

- After suffering initial setbacks, the privatisation of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) drive is back on course. The evaluation of bidders for the transaction advisor has been complete and a team of experts is expected in place by next month. The expert will, amongst other duties, assist in identifying the strategic equity partners and it was their hope to complete the transaction within a year.

- While an American company studies reforms for the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation, all large-scale purchases/contracts are frozen. This includes 1.4 billion dollars that the Chinese Zhongxing Telecom Equipment (ZTE) corporation proposed  as a loan to ETC.