An investment consortium led by Zimbabwean businessman Edd Branson is mobilising a US$100 million fund to obtain holdings in mobile network providers in Benin, Chad and Gambia.
According to Zimbabwean outlet bulawayo24.com, the consortium – operating under the New York-based Afri-USA Business Initiative – has already put in bids that collectively total US$30 million for a “leveraged buyout” of three beleaguered GSM providers. The initiative has the backing of an investment bank as well as several hedge funds.
Negotiations for the deals are reportedly at varying stages, with discussions over the acquisition of a 49% stake in a Gambian provider “advanced”. In Chad, a “memorandum of private placement” has reportedly been received by the unnamed operator, while in Benin the consortium is set to focus on developing the country’s fibre sector given the poor state of fixed-line infrastructure.