Telecel Zimbabwe scouts for investors ahead of expansion drive
Zimbabwe mobile operator Telecel is canvassing for investors to inject fresh capital as it looks to finance a new network expansion plan.
Company chairman, Selby Hwacha is confident Telecel will secure the much-needed investment. “Telecel is an attractive entity and we’ve put in place initiatives to raise the capital. With its position as the least funded network, it makes it easier to attract investments and synergies.”
Hwacha said there are “a considerable number of suitors” the company is engaging with, but stopped short of mentioning names for fear of jeopardising negotiations.
He added that the company’s size and situation made it attractive for equity adjustments, joint ventures and lending, but could not delve into specifics due to non-disclosure agreements in place.
Hwacha confirmed that a lack of funding has impacted the company.
Last year employees bemoaned the state of affairs at the company and warned that without urgent intervention from government, it faced imminent collapse.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) Telecel was lagging behind rivals Econet and NetOne and has lost 17% market share in 2015 and 5.5% at the end of 2020.
Telecel was the only operator to record a decline in active mobile money subscriptions in Q4 to December 2020 from 727 094 in Q3 to 725 427.
The Zimbabwe government is the major shareholder after acquiring from Amsterdam- based Vimpel (neon) 60% shareholding and is in the process of buying the remaining 40%.
The remaining shareholding is controlled by James Makamba through Kestrel Corporation, the Indigenous Business Women Organisation through Jane Mutasa’s Selporn Investments, Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Affirmative Action Group, War Veterans Association and Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union.