BOTSWANA’S CITIZENS INVESTMENT LOSES MASCOM BID

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Citizens Investments, owned by Gaborone businessman Kagiso Mmusi and lawyer Rizwan Desai, has lost the bid to acquire a 50.01 per cent stake in Mascom Wireless. According to The Star newspaper of South Africa, the shares will now go to TSM Holdings, owned by Zimbabwean entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa.

The acquisition of the shares raises to 70 per cent TSM Holdings’ stake in Mascom Wireless. The company already held 19.9 per cent and this week "exercised its pre-emptive right" to buy 50.01 per cent of the shareholding in the cellular phone operator formerly held by Portugal Telecom. The remaining 30 per cent is held by DECI.

Citizens Investments and Portugal Telecom had reached an agreement whereby the former would acquire the latter’s stake in Mascom but the transfer was conditional.

One of the conditions was that the minority shareholders, TSM Holdings and DECI exercise their rights of first refusal within a stipulated period which right TSM Holdings has now exercised. The bid for the stake in the Mascom Wireless went for a total of P328 million - P250 million for the Portugal Telecom shares and P71 million for liabilities.

Citizens Investments, with the backing of Barclays PLC in London, UK, had been confident of raising the P328 million. The Star says TSM raised US $255 million (about P1 275 million) through a private placement with financial adviser Brait.

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