NBFIRA clears BPOPF's push for bigger Mascom stake

Mascom HQ PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Mascom HQ PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) has reportedly given the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund its blessings to increase its stake in Mascom from 40% to 60%.

The reported approval is a blow to Strive Masiyiwa’s P3 billion bid to increase his firm’s own stake in Mascom from the current seven percent to 60%. Masiyiwa, through his Econet holding group, had planned to up his stake by buying out MTN which presently holds 53% in Mascom. The deal, MTN confirmed, was valued at US$300 million. Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwe-born billionaire, founded Mascom 21 years ago, using the fledgling company to build up a telecommunications empire spanning across the continent.

This week, insiders close to the latest developments said NBFIRA had instead approved a request by the pension fund to increase its holdings in Mascom. Under current rules, NBFIRA sets limits on how much exposure a pension fund can make in a single investment, as part of risk management protocols.  The BPOPF, which has resisted the Masiyiwa/MTN deal from the time it was first announced in March, recently identified a loophole allowing the pension fund to pursue a “forced sale” of MTN shares representing 20% of Mascom. The deal, when concluded, would give the BPOPF 60% stake and control of Mascom, leaving Econet and MTN with the balance.

Editor's Comment
Shame on the Police!

According to a press statement from the police, unidentified armed men attacked on duty police officers at the station in the early hours of Tuesday.During the attack, the suspects stole 14 riffles, five pistols and an undisclosed number of ammunition.Although unconfirmed, it is alleged that the suspects were just carrying knives and axes, which they used to scare the men and women in uniform before they took them hostage to help themselves to...

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