Tripoli, 19 March 2012:
LAP GreenN, the Libyan Investment Authority’s international telecommunications arm, went to the Zambian High Court in Lusaka on . . .[restrict]Monday filed to stop the Zambian Government’s attempt to seize its 75-percent stake in Zamtel.
LAP GreenN acquired the stake in the former state-owned Zambian telecommunications company in June 2010 bidding against eight other international compnies. Overseen by the Zambian Development Agency, the sale was viewed has having been open and competitive. The Zambian government held on to 25 percent.
Early this year, the Zambian government decided to reverse the sale.
“LAP GreenN is very clear that the seizure of our shareholding in Zamtel by the Zambian Government was illegal and unconstitutional, and to the detriment of both Zamtel and its customers, said LAP GreenN chairman Wafik Al-Shater in a statement.
“In the 18 months that Zamtel was under LAP GreenN’s management, we increased its total subscriber base by 600 percent – to over one million at the start of 2012 – and significantly increased the company’s market share, leading to a 50-percent increase in revenues. The growth and prosperity that Zamtel saw under our management was unprecedented,” he added.
He explained that LAP GreenN had taken what was effectively a bankrupt company and turned it round into a major and profitable telecommunications player, that serve Zambia’s people and contribute significantly to the Zambian economy.
Mr Al-Shater said: “We are compelled to take this course of action as dictated by the procedure set out in Zambian law. Nevertheless, we sincerely hope that reason can prevail, and that LAP GreenN can resume making its important contribution to providing telecommunications services to the Zambian people. However, to recover the company’s significant investment in Zamtel, LAP GreenN will consider any and all legal options available, if necessary, whether in Zambia or in other jurisdictions.”
LAP GreenN says that its stake is worth US$480 million. Its petition states that should it not be given back the company, it should be compensated in full plus losses suffered as a result of the seizure of the shares.