VimpelCom sells Telecel Zimbabwe stake to government for $40 million

VimpelCom, a global provider of telecommunications and digital services headquartered in Amsterdam, has announced that its 51.9% owned subsidiary, Global Telecom Holding (GTH), has completed the previously announced sale of Telecel International to ZARNet Limited in Zimbabwe for a consideration of US $40 million.

Telecel International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GTH, owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe.  ZARNet is wholly owned by the Zimbabwe government through the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.

Telecel International is currently ranked as the third largest mobile network operator in Zimbabwe in terms of subscriptions, with media reports indicating that it lost 5% of its active subscribers in the first quarter of this year due to the impending take over by the government through Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.


Statistics from Zimbabwe’s telecom’s industry regulator Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) indicate that the country’s 3 MNOs – Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel – jointly reported a 1,1% growth in active subscribers from 12,7 million to 12,9 million.

VimpelCom’s GTH has operations in the Africa, Middle East, Canada, and Asia. It started its operations in Egypt by launching the first Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil in 1998. Apart from Zimbabwe, where it’s divesting from, GTH’s other operations in Africa include Djezzy (in Alegria), Leo Burundi(in Burundi), SAIT (in DR Congo) and Telecel CAR (in Central African Republic).

Other markets where GTH has previously divested from include Egypt where it sold Mobinil to Orange and Namibia where its affiliate, TN Mobile, was nationalized by Namibian government.


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