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Econet Wireless Global raises stake in Econet Zimbabwe to 40 percent

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe major shareholder, Econet Wireless Global will control 40 percent of the telecoms firm following a $130 million rights offer which left a quarter of the shares on offer unsubscribed.

The company today published the results which showed that of the 1.345 billion shares and 1.345 billion debentures offered in the rights offer inclusive of treasury shares, shares and debentures amounting to 295.8 million apiece were left unsubscribed, which account for 25.4 percent of the rights offered to shareholders.

The unsubscribed shares and debentures were allocated to the underwriter and anchor shareholder Econet Wireless Global which raises its controlling stake in Zimbabwe’s largest communications network to 39.93 percent.

According to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listing rules, this compels EWG to make an offer to minorities.

Before the rights offer, according to officials, EWG  held a 30.02 percent stake in EWZ, Econet Zimbabwe and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe SPV held 9,86 percent and  2,96 percent respectively.

Following the rights offer, EWG shareholding increased to 39.93 percent, including the 25.4 percent unsubscribed shares while EWZ and EWZ SPV’s holdings declined slightly to 9.27 percent, 2.78 percent respectively.

EWZ has raised $130 million — possibly the biggest ever local capital raise in Africa outside of South Africa — through the highly contentious rights issue to pay off foreign loans despite initial opposition from regulators, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the Security Exchanges Commission.

It owes a consortium of creditors — China Development Bank, African Export Import Bank, Ericsson and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation — just over $128 million.

Due to foreign currency shortages in Zimbabwe, the company said it has found it increasingly difficult to service the loans.

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