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Zambia reneges on Libya’s LAP Green Network deal

January 10, 2012 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

The Zambian government has said it would reverse the sale of the country’s Zambia Telecommunication Company, or Zamtel, after there were allegations of corruption and fraud during the previous government.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda (image: file)

The news is yet another knock for LAP Green after a number of deals fell through as a result of the Libyan Civil War last year that saw the country’s former leader Muammar Gadaffi ousted from power.

Lap Green Networks became the majority shareholder in Zamtel, with 75 percent of total shares in 2010, after the then ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) – under the leadership of  President Rupiah Banda – decided to privatize the service provider.

The company was sold at the time for a total cost of $394 million, despite several attempts, including litigation, to block the sale of the company by citizens and shareholders.

The Zambian government then claimed the move was aimed at saving the company from closing, after plans to add funding to the failing company were unsuccessful.

In 2009, the Zambian government, through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), announced the sale of Zamtel, and chose RP Capitals of the UK as financial advisor to the deal.

Primary bids were received from India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam, Angola’s Unitel, Russia’s Vimpel Communications, together with Altiomo Holdings, and Lap Green Networks. After months of scrutinising, Lap Green Networks emerged the successful bidder.

Desmond Shephard

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