There’s been a shift in ownership of the dominant telecoms player in the West African island country of Sao Tome and Principe.
Visabeira Global – part of the Portuguese Visabeira group – has acquired 51% of the shares of operator Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes (CST). These shares were previously held by Africatel Holdings, a Dutch holding company controlled by the Brazilian communications company Oi. The state of Sao Tome still holds the remaining 49%.
The Expresso news service explains that CST has a 100% market share in the fixed service and 83% market share in mobile communications in Sao Tome and Principe, and that, through its 2G and 3G networks, it covers some 93% of the population. It has a network of 12 stores and 800 points of sale distributed across the islands.
CST also holds a 74.5% stake in STP Cabo, a company that is part of the ACE submarine cable consortium that links the coast of West Africa to Europe.
Visabeira, a Portugal-based international conglomerate with interests in telecommunications, construction, industry, tourism, real estate and service industries, has announced a number of plans for CST.
These include streamlining its fixed and mobile internet services, modernizing its 2G and 3G networks, investing in 4G and expanding the fibre optic network. It also includes investing in pay-TV services, which may be no surprise considering that Visabeira’s other interests in Africa – in Mozambique and Angola – both involve television.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, this deal represents a final step in the divestment of the international assets owned by Brazil's Oi via Africatel Holdings.