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PR nationalizes Isabel dos Santos and General Dino's shares in Unitel

The President transferred to the State, through nationalization, the shares of Vidatel and Geni in the telecommunications operator Unitel, which were held by businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and General Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento "Dino".


In practice, the State holds the total share capital of Unitel, as each stake corresponded to 25 percent and the remaining 50 percent was already controlled by state oil company Sonangol.

The announcement was made through the official Facebook page of the Presidency, which justifies the presidential decisions with the "exceptional public interest" of Unitel for the State, taking into account its strategic position in the sector, on the one hand, and the lawsuits against part of the shareholders of Vidatel (Isabel dos Santos) and the strong restrictive measures in the country and abroad against the beneficial owner of Geni (general 'Dino').

However, both Isabel dos Santos and General "Dino" had already lost shareholder control of these holdings and were not receiving dividends from Unitel, with the respective shares having been acquired by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) in January of this year.

In the case of Isabel dos Santos, the businesswoman and daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos lost control of Vidatel in December 2020, by decision of the Supreme Court of the British Virgin Islands where that company was registered, and is now represented in general meetings by a judicial administrator of that jurisdiction.

According to the weekly Expansão, General Dino had already dissolved and liquidated his quota before being seized by the PGR.

The operator never clarified who its current shareholders are.

In the decree formalizing the nationalization of Vidatel, João Lourenço mentions that lawsuits are pending against part of the shareholders, making it difficult to establish commercial relations and deteriorating the company's financial situation.

As for Geni, the decree emphasizes that "the beneficial owner is subject to strong restrictive measures at home and abroad", and is subject to sanctions by the US Office Foreign Assets Control.

In both cases, "all possibilities of agreement with the target shareholder were exhausted" and there was agreement by another shareholder, "therefore, appropriation is considered the most adequate, necessary and proportional means to safeguard the company's legal situation and guarantee in the interest of the state".

The appropriate actions through the presidential diploma are "transmitted to the State independently of any formalities, free of any encumbrances or charges, being enforceable against third parties after registration".

They will be managed by the Instituto de Gestão de Ativos do Estado (IGAPE), with the Ministry of Finance responsible for paying compensation, "when and if due, under the terms of the law".


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