Econet Wireless Global buys Telecel Burundi


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Global telecoms giant VimpelCom, the parent company of Telecel Zimbabwe, today said it had sold its Burundi and Central African Republic interests to Econet Wireless Global (EWG) for $65 million.

VimpelCom, a Netherlands-based telecommunications provider said its 51.9 percent owned subsidiary Global Telecom Holdings had sold its 100 percent stake in Telecel Globe Limited (TG) which owns U-Com in Burundi and Telecel CAR in Central African Republic.

EWG holds controlling interest in Zimbabwe’s biggest telecommunications firm, Econet Wireless. Vimpelcom is majority-owned by Russia’s Alfa Group and Norway’s Telenor.

“We have previously outlined our Value Agenda within which our operations are reviewed to assess their future value to the Group. The decision to sell our operations in CAR and Burundi is a result of this process,” said chief financial officer of VimpelCom, Andrew Davies in a statement to the Cairo Stock Exchange.

EWG chief executive, Craig Fitzgerald confirmed the deal but said the acquisition would have no material impact on its Zimbabwe operations.

“Yes, I can confirm that our Mauritius registered telecoms holding company, Econet Wireless Global, has acquired Vimpelcom’s two operations in Burundi and Central African Republic,” said Fitzgerald.

EWG has operations and investments in telecommunications businesses throughout Africa, the United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

EWG is also the parent company of Liquid Telecom, which operates Africa’s largest satellite and fibre optic system, with the latter spanning 12 countries. It is itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Group, a privately held group controlled by UK-based Zimbabwean Strive Masiyiwa.

The group’s interests extend beyond telecoms into areas like renewable energy, financial services and hospitality. It also owns the majority interest in US-based Seldon Technologies, which produces nano-carbon filtration system.- The Source

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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