Vodafone Zambia up for “sale”

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Vodafone
Vodafone

Afrimax, the company that has run a number of mobile operations in Africa under the Vodafone brand, says Vodafone Zambia will have “new ownership”.
The company said in a brief statement that it will announce a new CEO in succession to Lars Henrik Stork, who is retiring – and “other structural changes including new ownership of Vodafone Zambia”.

Vodafone’s corporate headquarters in the UK shrugged off an enquiry from Capacity by saying: “This is a former partner market that we no longer have an association with.”

But Afrimax appears to have been unwinding a lot of activities across Africa – some using the Vodafone brand – over recent months.

In February Afrimax Uganda lost the right to trade as Vodafone Uganda after going into creditor protection, with debts said in local media to be almost 300 billion Uganda shillings ($78 million).

That followed months after Afrimax’s operation in Cameroun, also branded as Vodafone closed down after a licensing dispute.

Those two closures left only Zambia in the Afrimax portfolio, also operating until now as Vodafone under the UK-based group’s Partner Markets scheme.
Now the Zambian business appears to be about to change.
Gilbert Temba, chair of the Afrimax board, gave no hint about the “structural changes” that face Vodafone/Afrimax Zambia.
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But Afrimax has also been selling off its non-Vodafone-branded businesses.

In February it sold Busy Internet Ghana to a local company, AI Technologies.

It told local media at the time that this was part of its “strategy aimed at reorganising its corporate structure with a view to enabling continued improvement in the delivery of its strategic goals, thereby allowing it to focus on key commercial and financial priorities in its focus markets”.

Three years ago Afrimax said it had raised $120 million from Mitsui, International Finance Corporation, and others to build 4G networks in 12 Africa markets, where it had licences to build TD-LTE networks – the version of 4G that is said to be more suitable for fixed internet access.

Stork was group COO of Afrimax, though his role has changed as the group has closed down a number of operations.

He said in February: “The successful sale of our business in Ghana is in line with our restructuring strategy aimed at building a next-generation 4G business in Africa.”

Stork has worked in African telecoms since 2005, when he was VP of operations of Celtel International – the Amsterdam-based African group that was later bought by Zain and subsequently sold to Airtel.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I had personally questioned this because Vodafone proper is a shareholder in the company that controls Bharti Airtel of India the majority shareholder in Airtel Zambia PLC. So the mask is off. As well it might because the market is looking saturated although the tariffs still look it is monopolistic competition.

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    • True very true, besides this market is just too small for many players. With the majority of our people living on less than a US$1 per day, it was just never gonna go far.

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  2. ZICTA have been sleeping here…was this a franchise? Vodafone H/Q are saying they dont recognize it…in Zambia you just need a musungu in the front with start up cash and you can rob people selling them overpriced SIM cards and mobile WIFI routers.

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    • ZICTA is one of the most expensive and useless organisation in Zambia…It runs around like a headless chicken! They are regulators but they do not know what they are suppose to regulate or how to regulate! typical carder bosses. This started a long time ago….and the rot is getting worse.

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  3. Mushota No comment! She can’t understand the change of ownership of the shareholders! I rest my case ba PhD fimo fimo!

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  4. There is need to close Zinta down. It failed almost everything. From digital tvs to phones to networks and simcards….woow

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  5. CEC Liquid using partners like Hai have captured almost the whole high speed internet market in urban Zambia and most of Eastern Africa. Rural Zambia doesn’t demand it a lot and can be served adequately for low returns by ZAMTEL/ UNITEL. When you have strategy, you see that the endgame is up or the potential is still there.

    Generally the firm configuration of behemoths makes it difficult for them to function in small markets. AIRTEL and MTN have practically made one Africa network only changing calling codes to leverage huge outlay investments. So, where to ZAMTEL?

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