Zimbabwe could merge TelOne and NetOne ahead of sale

Netone Wifi Zimbabwe by mibroadband zimbabwe conference

A report from Zimbabwe suggests that the government is attempting to sell fixed line operator TelOne and sister cellco NetOne as a package as it looks to attract further private investment to the country’s telecoms markets.

New Zimbabwe writes that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is considering merging the two firms and selling off a 60% stake to a foreign telco.

South African operators MTN Group and Telkom have both been linked as possible buyers, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) acting as advisors for the sale.

Ncube is quoted as saying: ‘Government will get better value for money if these are floated together as a package. We will approach [potential buyers] to let them know, they have a much bigger asset to compete for in the form of the two assets together as opposed to a TelOne or NetOne as was the case before.

Now that we have got both fixed telephony and mobile telephony in terms of NetOne and TelOne, you would need suitors who can adequately handle those two aspects of telephony.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Zimbabwe’s government is hoping to raise USD350 million from the sale of stakes in five state-backed enterprises, including TelOne, NetOne and another mobile operator, Telecel.