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Botswana: BTCL listing to go ahead

Botswana: BTCL listing to go ahead

Botswana's government has concluded the lengthy process of privatising one of the country's oldest parastatals, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL).

After several extensions to the proposed date for BTCL's initial public offering (IPO) on the bourse, the commencement date for selling of shares has been scheduled for 11 January.

BTCL will list on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) through a public offer of 462 000 000 shares at a price of P1.00 per share, by way of a sale offer by the selling shareholder of 212 000 000 shares and a subscription offer for 250 000 000 new shares.

"We are very happy to have reached the final stages," said Kgotla Ramaphane, Chief Executive Officer of Public Enterprises Evaluation & Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), the agency guiding government's privatisation processes.

BTCL's privatisation process was mooted in 2006, and the implementation commenced in 2011 with engagement of the IPO advisors and stakeholders.

Initially scheduled for August 2011, the BTCL IPO launch has experienced several setbacks and postponements.

The IPO was first postponed in 2011 to 2012 and then later pushed to August 2014 before being again deferred to 31 December 2014.

"This project has been in the pipeline for many years and now it has become a reality," said Tshenolo Mabeo, minister of Transport and Communications.

Government has placed on offer a total of 49% of the company's shares, 44% are available for purchase by citizens and citizen companies, while the remaining 5% is reserved for BTCL employees through a Trust.

"Now it is up to Batswana to grab this opportunity by the horns and run with it. We are excited to see this Company, which was grown by Batswana, now offer more value to Batswana through shareholding," Mabeo said.

Established in 1980 BTCL provides voice telephony, both, fixed and mobile, national and international internet, data services, virtual private networks and customer equipment to residential, government and business customers.

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