STRIVE Masiyiwa has pocketed close to US$100 million as dividend payouts from his investment in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ) since 2009, businessdigest has established.
By Chris Muronzi
According to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe financial director Roy Chimanikire, the mobile phone operator has paid out US$180 million in dividends to shareholders since 2009.
Masiyiwa, who founded EWZ in 1998, has comfortably held a controlling stake in the group through ordinary issued shares and Class A shares.
Over the years, he has increased his shareholding through his Econet Wireless Global in the local entity.
Chimanikire said around US$1,4 billion has been invested into EWZ cumulatively since 2009 to date.
This positions the mobile phone operator among companies with the highest dividend yields in the country.
Apart from Econet, Innscor Africa Ltd and its associates have a generous dividend policy and have been behind some of the major value creation moves — unbundlings and separate listings — on the market.
The group has a net asset value of US$1 billion.
Chimanikire was speaking at a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) initial public offering (IPO) masterclass held in the capital this week.
He took delegates through the journey his company has travelled since inception and contextualised various developments such as the US$100 million rights issue the company issued a few years ago to settle foreign obligations.
Chimanikire says the consequences of not raising the US$100 million would have shut the doors on international capital as other lenders become aware of the company’s default history.
Apart from creating wealth for investors, he said a total US$3,2 billion has cumulatively been made in payments to local suppliers of goods and services since 2009 while US$1,5 billion has been paid out to fiscal and statutory payments made to government and its agencies since 2009.
Masiyiwa has consolidated his position as one of Zimbabwe’s richest investors after his Fintech company, Cassava SmarTech (CSZL), became the most valuable counter by market value on the ZSE when the company listed on the local bourse through an IPO last year.
Masiyiwa, whose Econet Wireless Global group controls a significant stake in its Zimbabwe operation, is reportedly a billionaire.
His strategy to create value through unbundlings got the thumbs-up this week from investors, if valuations it commanded are anything to go by.
CSZL opened trade on Tuesday at an IPO price of US0,43 cents and closed at US149,28 cents, a growth of 241% and valuing the company at US$3,867 billion, higher than EWZL, valued at around US$3,4 billion at the time.
The counter, which ended the listing drought on the local exchange, quickly became the most valuable company on the ZSE last year.
Masiyiwa is said to be a billionaire in US dollar terms even after the weakening of the local currency against the US dollar and is on a value creation drive.
His company has hinted it wants to list its Liquid Telecom as well. Liquid owns fibre network infrastructure in Zimbabwe. Its holding company has a footprint in Africa and recently concluded a US$400 million deal with an Egyptian telecoms player.