HomeBusiness DigestMasiyiwa's move under scrutiny

Masiyiwa’s move under scrutiny

Ngoni Chanakira

BUSINESS magnate Strive Masiyiwa’s intention to tighten his strong grip on telecommunications giant Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd (Econet), which he founded, comes under s

crutiny in Harare today.

Masiyiwa founded Econet and then listed it on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) after a gruelling battle with the then Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications Joyce Mujuru.

Econet now has a market capitalisation of $57 billion on the bourse.

Masiyiwa intends to allot 999 000 TS Masiyiwa Holdings (Pvt) Ltd shares to Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd in exchange for 918 705 438 Econet Class A ordinary shares. These shares are then to be allocated to Dunstone (Pvt) Ltd.

Shareholders have been asked to attend an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today to approve the deal, which has come under intense scrutiny by the local and international investing public, media, and the Zimbabwe government.

The major bone of contention in the market is why Masiyiwa is being given the green light to secure the shares at such a large discount.

If approved the new Econet shares will be listed on the ZSE on October 1.

NMB Bank Ltd is the independent financial advisor, while Deloitte & Touche, the accountants.

Econet’s business has expanded to Botswana and Nigeria.

Masiyiwa is, however, not expected to attend today’s EGM because he is now based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The businessman fell out of favour with President Robert Mugabe’s government after dragging them to court to secure Econet’s operating licence.

Masiyiwa is currently in the news because the same government is refusing to issue his other empire, the Associated Newspapers of Zimba-bwe (Pvt) Ltd, an operating licence after having deemed it an illegal entity.

The ANZ published two titles – the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday.

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