Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s President Eduardo dos Santos and one of Africa’s richest women, is reportedly gearing up to acquire a significant stake in Zimbabwean Telecom giant Telecel. Her representatives recently met with government officials in Zimbabwe to discuss investment opportunities.
The first indications of this takeover bid appeared in the local papers last month. At the time, the news making rounds suggested that she had sent out feelers for the acquisition of the struggling telecoms company. “Isabel is interested in taking over telecoms giant Telecel Zimbabwe as it emerges political bigwigs in the southern Africa nation are pushing for ouster of Telecel Zimbabwe founding shareholder James Makamba,” the report read.
In February, Zimbabwe cancelled Telecel Zimbabwe’s licence after it failed to comply with local empowerment laws and settle outstanding licence fees. The company has over 2.5 million active subscribers in Zimbabwe, and is jointly owned by Telecel Globe and the Empowerment Corporation, led by under-fire businessman James Makamba.
Ventures Africa’s latest richest Africans compilation reveals that Isabel dos Santos is worth at least $3.5 billion and provides employment for more than 3000 people. Her vast portfolio of interests is largely dominated by assets concentrated within the telecom industry. Most of her telecom investments are situated in Portugal and Angola. She also owns a significant stake in oil and gas firm GalpEnergia along with Portugese billionaire Americo Amorim as well as a controlling stake in Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS.
By Emmanuel Iruobe