The cash-rich Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), which had previously denied interest in MTC shares, confirmed Thursday that it was planning to buy into the mobile operator.
The fund, which caters for about 100,000 civil servants, with over N$106,3 billion in assets as of 30 September 2017, said it was currently in talks to acquire a ‘substantial’ shareholding in the country’s biggest mobile operator.
“The process will follow a due diligence to determine if we want to buy the shares, which will be based on merit,” GIPF said in a statement.
The fund’s planed foray into the telecoms sector comes amid regulatory requirement for pension funds to have at least 45 percent of their assets invested locally.
GIPF said it plans to own the shares, which are valued at over N$2,3 billion, directly and not provide funding to would-be potential local buyers.
“We are also of the opinion that should the due diligence find the MTC shares feasible it would be a good investment, which will be done in our own name and not on behalf of any other entity.” The imminent deal comes on the back of last year’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in the Capricorn Investment Group at a cost of over N$2 billion.
GIPF and MTC are, however, still to pronounce themselves on the possible conflicted dual role of Elvis Nashilongo, who is General Manager: Operations of the pension fund and also chairman of the mobile company’s board.
Already the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia’s approval of the acquisition of Luxemburg-based Samba Luxco SARL’s 34 percent shareholding by the Namibia Post and Telecommunications has attracted controversy, according to The Namibian.