By Golden Sibanda
Billionaire and Zimbabwe’s telecoms mogul, Strive Masiyiwa’s Mauritius incorporated Econet Media Limited, has put up for sale its shares in the satellite broadcast business in 13 countries, mostly African, after going insolvent, having reportedly racked up millions of dollars in liabilities.
The Mauritius-headquartered group, which mainly traded under the brands Kwese TV or Econet Media, is also selling its interest in free-to-air television and digital distribution of media content.
Econet Media, a unit of Econet Wireless International, which operated as Kwese TV in Zimbabwe, but closed after finding the going tough, had racked up over US$130 million in external liabilities before being placed under voluntary administration after failing to pay suppliers.
The business, controlled by the South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman, then hired Ernst and Young’s Paul Gerald Lincoln, a licensed insolvency practitioner, in an effort to salvage the business.
Efforts to get a comment from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe spokesman Fungayi Mandiveyi, were fruitless yesterday after he said he could not talk as he was in “the middle of commitments”.
But the company said in a statement yesterday, said it was selling its shares in Econet Media or Kwese TV in South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Dubai, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mauritius. “Offers are invited for the purchase of the company’s shares held in the above mentioned subsidiaries/associates or the business activities,” Econet Media said in an invitation to tender. The Chronicle