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Libyan firm takes control of Zamtel

Libyan investment vehicle gains control of Zambia's incumbent operator

Libyan firm takes control of Zamtel
With a population of more than 12.6 million people and a low mobile penetration rate, Zambia offers significant potential to its three telcos.

Libyan investment vehicle LAP Green Network has taken control of Zamtel, the incumbent telecom operator in Zambia.

LAP Green agreed to pay $257 million for a 75% stake in Zamtel and make an additional investment of $127 million for network expansion in June, and the Libyan firm has now taken control of the operator following a handover ceremony, according to online news site, Zambian Watchdog.

Situmbeko Musokotwane, Zambia's minister for finance and national planning, said he hoped the sale of the shares would save the struggling firm from collapse, the report added.

As part of a "revitalisation" plan for Zamtel, LAP Green has committed to a five year business plan to modernise the operator and return it to sustainable growth, according to the Zambian Development Agency.

The government, which retains a 25% stake in Zamtel, will continue to play a role in the management of the company by retaining two seats on the board of directors. It will also hold veto rights on some decisions.

Zamtel runs Zambia's fixed line network and also has a mobile network, Cell Z, which has struggled to compete with market leaders Zain and MTN.

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