Ver Angola

Telecommunications

Sonangol says reinforcement at Unitel aims to “allow stabilization” of the company

Sonangol, which bought the 25 percent stake that Brazilian Oi held in Unitel, said that this operation has "the main objective of allowing the stabilization and normalization" of that company's activity.

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Brazilian operator Oi confirmed on Friday the sale of the 25 percent it held in Unitel to oil company Sonangol for 1,000 million dollars, its shareholder Pharol said.

"This acquisition by Sonangol has as main objective to allow the stabilization and normalization of the activities of Multitel and Unitel, considering, above all, the strategic importance of the latter for Angola, as it is the largest operator of mobile networks in the country, holding a share of about 80 percent of the mobile communications and data market, and is one of the largest private employers in the country", justifies the oil company, in a statement released.

"In recent years, Unitel has been involved in a shareholder dispute that has hindered the company's investment and development, predictably leading to a deterioration of its economic and financial condition, if the conditions that allow reaching a shareholder consensus are not created", says Sonangol, who with this purchase now controls the company, with 50 percent.

With this acquisition, “Sonangol expects to meet conditions so that Unitel's management can approve the company's business plan, make the necessary investments and ensure the stability and preservation of jobs", stresses the National Fuel Society of Angola.

Oi owned 25 percent of Unitel through PT Ventures. The latter held shares in two Angolan companies, namely Multitel - Serviços de Telecomunicações (40 percent) and Unitel (25 percent), also holding dividend credit rights declared by Unitel and already past due.

"Sonangol also informs that the acquisition involved the payment of an initial amount of 699 million dollars and a deferred payment of 240 million dollars", the latter until the end of July.

"This is a very attractive investment by Sonangol, as PT Ventures, in addition to its market value ('equity value'), is entitled to receive approximately 1100 million dollars in dividends declared by Unitel and already past due and, as well, of a set of indemnity rights resulting from the final decision handed down by an Arbitral Tribunal against the other shareholders of Unitel in the amount of approximately 350 million dollars", refers to Sonangol.

Thus, Sonangol proceeds to consolidate 50 percent of the company's share capital, "which gives it, under the terms of the existing shareholders' agreement, the power to appoint the majority of the Board of Directors and will allow a potential divestment, as provided for in the privatization program, be carried out under more attractive conditions", he concluded.

Unitel had four shareholders with equal shares (25 percent): PT Ventures (Oi), Sonangol, Vidatel (controlled by Isabel dos Santos) and Geni (general Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento).