Zimbabwe’s Econet Plans to take Bostwana telco Mascom Public

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Strive Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwean billionaire announced plans to list part of his Botswana telecoms operator Mascom by October this year, a move he expects to be one of the biggest flotations on the Gaborone bourse.

Masiyiwa, through his holding company Econet, is finalising a $300 million deal with South African rival MTN Group to raise his stake in Mascom from 7 percent to 60 percent.

He told reporters that “this is what I have always wanted to do …I have never held enough shareholding to push it through” and said more details would be provided in due course but revealed anyone who can raise $10 should be able to buy shares in Mascom, which Econet valued at more than $600 million when it agreed to buy out MTN’s 53 percent holding.

Mascom was founded by Masiyiwa 21 years ago, a few months before he set up Econet in Zimbabwe. It is Botswana’s biggest mobile operator with 1.7 million customers. The remaining 40 percent of Mascom is owned by the Botswana Public Officers’ Pension Fund.

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