Zimbabwe telecoms giant Econet to spin off financial units - TechCentral

Zimbabwe telecoms giant Econet to spin off financial units

Strive Masiyiwa

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe plans to list its financial units as a single entity on the country’s stock exchange and sell a majority stake in network operator Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe back to the firm’s parent company.

The Harare-based firm founded by Zimbabwean tycoon Strive Masiyiwa plans to create a newly listed business called Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, according to a circular to investors. EcoCash, Econet Life, Econet Insurance and Steward Bank will be transferred into the new entity.

The move comes two months after Bloomberg News reported Econet was in talks about a restructuring, said to be related to long-mooted plans by Liquid to sell shares on a stock exchange. Africa’s largest broadband network operator owns about 40 000km of cross-border fibre networks on the continent and has ambitions to link up homes and businesses in some of the world’s least-connected countries.

Shares in the wireless carrier have more than doubled this year, valuing the business at US$7.3-billion. Econet, the parent company, is also considering selling shares on the London Stock Exchange, people familiar with the matter said a year ago.

Shareholders will vote on the separate listing plan this month.  — (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP