Ethiopian government launches tender for 40% stake in Ethio Telecom
The Ethiopian government has launched a tender for the sale of 40% stake in state-owned operator Ethio Telecom.
The move is widely considered a bid by authorities to make the company more competitive after the government opened the country’s telecommunications industry to private investment.
Authorities confirmed that requests for proposals would be accepted after the tender process and said it aims to complete the entire transaction “in an efficient and streamlined manner.”
The government also plans to sell a 5% stake in the company to local investors via an initial public offering (IPO) and will retain a 55% controlling share.
Ethio Telecom is understood to have a customer base of 53 million subscribers.
The government also said that interested foreign investors have up to 30-days from 15 June to submit expressions of interest (EOI), after which a bidder will be selected.
Deputy Director of Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency Zinabu Yirga officially launched the tender and said: “The government wants to make sure that State owned companies become competitive and productive and therefore, 40% of Ethio Telecom will be sold to a foreign operator.”
Brook Taye, a senior advisor at the country’s Ministry of Finance added, “The 40% stake in the company would be sold as a single stake to a single investor.”
Last month, the government through the Ethiopia Communications Authority awarded one of the two available operating licences to the Global Consortium for Ethiopia.
The regulator is currently preparing to re-auction the second licence after an offer of US$600-million from South Africa’s MTN Group was rejected.