Zambian Government faces legal action after seizing Zamtel shares

The Libyan Investment Authority’s international telecommunications arm LAP GreenN has filed court papers challenging the Zambian Government’s action to seize its 75% share in Zamtel.

In a petition filed before the Zambian High Court, LAP GreenN disputes the legality of the Zambian Government’s claim that its shares were taken for ‘public purpose’.

Wafik Al-Shater, Chairman of LAP GreenN, said: “The seizure of our shareholding in Zamtel by the Zambian Government was illegal and unconstitutional, and to the detriment of both Zamtel and its customers. In the 18 months that Zamtel was under LAP GreenN’s management, we increased its total subscriber base by 600% - to over one million at the start of 2012 - and significantly increased the company’s market share, leading to a 50% increase in revenues.”

LAP GreenN made significant improvements to Zamtel’s network infrastructure, doubling the number of base stations and improving network performance & coverage.

Mr Al-Shater said: “We are compelled to take this course of action as dictated by the procedure set out in Zambian law. Nevertheless, we sincerely hope that reason can prevail, and that LAP GreenN can resume making its important contribution to providing telecommunications services to the Zambian people. However, to recover the company’s significant investment in Zamtel, LAP GreenN will consider any and all legal options available, if necessary, whether in Zambia or in other jurisdictions.”

The petition outlines LAP GreenN’s right to financial compensation for the value of the asset at the time of seizure should the shareholding not be restored to it, which is calculated to be US$480 million. In addition, LAP GreenN is claiming for the substantial losses it has suffered as a result of the seizure of the shares.

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