Angola clears the way for privatisation spree

Angola clears the way for privatisation spree

Angola’s President Joao Lourenco has cleared the way for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on government-owned stakes in three of the country’s telecoms operators.

As reported by local outlet Novo Jornal, Presidential Orders No. 184/20 and No. 185/20 have authorised IPOs for the privatisation of state holdings in TV Cabo Angola and Multitel respectively. Order No. 186/20 has sanctioned a “limited tender by prior qualification” for the government’s shares in Net One. All three orders grant the Minister of Finance the authority over the privatisation procedures, including decisions over the validity and legality of the process.

Angola Telecom, which is wholly owned by the government, holds a 49.27% stake in TV Cabo Angola and a 30% stake in Multitel. Another 60% of the latter firm is held by state-owned enterprises, with oil firm Sonangol taking 40% and Banco de Comercio e Industria (BCI) holding 20%. The entire 90% state-held stake in Multitel is set for privatisation, along with 51% of Net One held by MSTelcom, which is wholly owned by Sonangol.

As reported by TeleGeography, stakes in a further five Angolan operators look set for privatisation this year under the government’s initiative. These include AT, Angola Cables, Angola Comunicacoes e Sistemas, MSTelcom and Unitel, which is the mobile market leader. Telephone directory company ELTA and postal operator ENCTA may also be privatised to some extent.

A 60% stake in Angola Cables is currently split between AT (51%) and MSTelcom (9%). Angola Comunicacoes e Sistemas is 100% owned by MSTelcom and Sonangol, which itself is slated for privatisation by 2022.

MSTelcom and Sonangol also each hold a 25% stake in Unitel, with the former’s slated for sale via public tender. The latter obtained its holding from Brazil’s Oi in January 2020.