Vodacom and Safaricom bid to build telecoms network in Ethiopia

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Vodacom and Safaricom bid to build telecoms network in Ethiopia

Safaricom Plc., weighing an offer for Ethiopia’s telecom business later this year, plans to take on debt to fund a joint bid by a consortium including parent Vodacom Group Ltd. and two other entities.

“We do know the investment to build the network in Ethiopia will be big,” Safaricom’s interim Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said in an interview at the company’s Nairobi headquarters. “So all of us will have to borrow to invest. The composition of the consortium will be on your willingness and your capability of taking on debt and your willingness to take a risk.”

The privatization of Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. and issuance of two spectrum licenses has been delayed by elections that were pushed to August from May, according to Joseph. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hasn’t yet provided guidance on the bidding process including any limits of foreign investors ownership, he said.

[Bloomberg]
 
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