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Vodacom DRC stake sale might be blocked

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Vodacom’s joint venture partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo has filed court papers to block Vodacom from selling its majority stake in the unit, a spokesman for the South African company said on Friday 21 October 2011.

Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO

According to Reuters, Vodacom Group, a unit of Britian’s Vodafone Plc , said last year it had appointed investment bank Rothschild to explore options for the business in the DRC, where it has been involved in a dispute with its partner, Congolese Wireless Network.

“Vodacom has received court papers from CWN,” spokesman Richard Boorman said in a statement to Reuters, confirming an earlier report by the Business Day newspaper. Boorman said he was unable to comment further on the legal process.

Vodacom owns 51% of the unit, with the remainder held by CWN. The two companies have been in arbitration after disagreeing over fees from the joint venture.

Congolese Wireless Network chairman Alieu Conteh told Reuters last year that Vodacom Congo was worth more than $1.5 billion, a valuation that Vodacom described as ludicrous without offering an alternative figure.

Staff Writer

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