Angolan President President Joao Lourenco has issued a decision finalising the transfer of ownership stakes in mobile market leader Unitel from private companies Vidatel and Geni to the state – effectively nationalising the operator.
It now seems that the saga of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and her links with Angolan operator Unitel is over. Dos Santo used to own Vidatel, and General Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, an associate of her father, fronted Geni.
Both Isabel dos Santos and General ‘Dino’ had already lost shareholder control of the holdings transferred and were not receiving dividends from Unitel; their shares were seized by the Attorney General’s Office in January this year.
The Angolan State now owns the total capital stock of Unitel: the two 25% stakes and the 50% controlled by the state-owned oil company Sonangol.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, under a presidential decree of 5 August 2019 the Angolan state intends to sell stakes in Unitel as part of the country’s 2019-2022 privatisation programme.
Back in August 2020 we reported that Isabel dos Santos had decided to leave her position on the board of the country’s leading telecommunications operator. Once she was estimated to have a net worth exceeding US$2 billion; however, recent years have the freezing of her assets in Angola, Portugal and the Netherlands. She has been dogged by corruption allegations in a number of countries,