BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
LIQUID Telecom has completed the sale of an 8% stake for US$180 million to the British government’s Sovereign Wealth Fund for developing countries known as Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).
In a statement yesterday, Econet said all conditions precedent to a deal that was announced in December 2018 through the Irish Stock Exchange had been met, and it has now received all the money.
“The investment, which is the single largest done into an African company by CDC to date, is a huge show of confidence in the company founded by Zimbabwe born entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa who is based in London,” read the statement in part.
Liquid Telecom is the largest builder of fibre optic cable networks in Africa. It is one of the most vibrant Pan-African companies with a footprint that covers almost 20 countries.
It has also built some of the most audacious projects including terrestrial fibre cables that run from Cape to Cairo, as well as Port Sudan to Cameroon through parts of the Sahara Desert.
Data centres are the company’s fastest growing business and it already operates some of the biggest and most sophisticated on the continent.
Liquid is expected to aggressively push westwards into countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana with its added war chest. Investors have been pouring money into the company and it already includes other major global investors.
The Liquid Telecom Group is not a Zimbabwean company, but part of Masiyiwa’s global business outfit.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe recently acquired a 10% stake in Liquid Telecom by swapping its then 51% stake in Liquid Zimbabwe.