The long running process to sell a majority stake in Zambia's state-owned Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel) has concluded with the winning bid of US$257 million being placed by Libya's Lap Green Networks. The government retains a 25% stake in the company, and may float the stake on the local stock exchange in the future.
The company beat Angola's Unitel and Russia's Altimo to gain control of Zamtel."The government of Zambia has today paved the way for completing the most significant privatization in the history of Zambia," said Situmbeko Musokotwane, minister of finance and national planning.
Lap Green Networks will also invest US$127 million into the company, partly as recapitalisation and partly on network upgrades.The country currently has three mobile network operators with the following market shares; Zain (70%), MTN (20%) and Zamtel (10%) - based on statistics from the Mobile World subscriber database.
Zamtel's new owner could revitalise the company, gaining a 19% share of the mobile market by 2015, up from its current 4% share, according to an Onda Analytics report last November.Although the privatisation will result in the liberalisation of the international call gateway, to the benefit of the other private operators, no new operator license will be offered in the country until Zamtel has returned to economic viability.
Source: Cellular News