from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – TELECOMMUNICATIONS mogul, Strive Masiyiwa, is disposing of a significant stake in Liquid Telecoms Holdings to raise funds for settling a multimillion-dollar debt to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
Reports on Friday indicated that the disposal of 20-34 percent shareholding in Africa’s largest fibre optic company was meant to raise US$600 million to settle the $375 million owed.
Part of the loan was meant to shore up television platform, Kwese TV, which ran into economic difficulties.
An extension had been sought to clear the debt by August but the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has meant serious economic and financial considerations.
Masiyiwa has hired Goldman and Sachs to advise on the possible disposal of the shares.
Liquid operates in 13 African countries and has data cloud centres in South Africa’s Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as Nairobi in Kenya.
Masiyiwa is also the founder and majority shareholder of Econet.
Econet is not the only company seeking to dispose of its shares.
It is alongside NetOne and TelOne, both government-controlled.
Net One operates the mobile services network and has just over 3.3 million subscribers while Tel One runs the landline service with over 260 000 subscribers.
The government has engaged the World Bank to work on the disposal of at least 60 percent stake in both entities.
– CAJ News