Teleology Holdings won a bid to acquire troubled state-owned operator Uganda Telecom for $71 million, despite reservations held by a government minister about Teleology’s capabilities.
Sources told The Monitor a cabinet meeting was held in which finance minister Evelyn Anite expressed concerns that Teleology, which recently bought 9mobile, lacked the expertise and financial standing to run a telecoms business.
Her preference was Mauritius Telecom, though its bid was for $45 million. In total there were seven bidders, including Safaricom, Afrinet Communications and US-based Hamilton Telecom.
Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni decided in favour of Teleology based on a financial capability report presented to cabinet and reportedly also due to pressure from an influential lobbyist.
Teleology now must make a non-refundable 10 per cent payment of $700 million within a month and pay the balance two months later. It will own 67 per cent of Uganda Telecom, with the remaining stake owned by the government.
If it fails to make the payments, the government will look for another buyer for the operator, which has been struggling with debt and a fall in subscribers.
In March last year the government took over Uganda Telecom’s operations after the Libyan government, which was its majority shareholder, pulled out.
In May 2018, the government tweeted saying its plans to help the operator by giving it unlimited access to national infrastructure.
SOURCE: Mobile World Live