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Wednesday, 16 September 2009

ZAMTEL Privatisation Advert

The official ZAMTEL privatisation advert. I can only imagine that since "RP Capital Advisors" are all over this advert, they'll "scrutinise" the bids.
Prequal Announcement Final


  1. I laughed when I read the rationale for placing the advert in Nigeria. Do these people know anything about Nitel? I am not quite sure which telecom investors in Nigeria they have in mind who are capable of running ZAMTEL if Nitel is anything to go by. I forsee two developments in the post- privatisation of ZAMTEL. First, I expect a privatised ZAMTEL to be repossesed in the near future because the chosen bidder wont live up to expections. Second, the whole thing seems to have been rigged from the start and I wouldnt rule out prosecutions whenever Rupiah is out of power.

  2. One pre-qualification criterion says that the potential equity partner should have:

    "More than three million active, attributable subscribers on
    fixed, mobile and / or fixed-wireless networks

    Interestingly, officials from the Ministry of Finance sent a message round asking if Zambians in the diaspora were eligible! I'm not sure they had read that part, which clearly did not have Zambian input.

    In my opinion RP Capital does not represent the best value for this exercise, in as far as the Zambian public and Zamtel are concerned. Former Finance Minister Magande has raised concerns about the involvement of RP which, having been in govt himself, are likely to have a bearing on the truth.

    Zambians should not allow this scam to go ahead.

  3. Frank,

    I actually made reference to that Nitel repossession back in July while talking about this same Zamtel storyhere. The actual link to the Nitel story can be found here.

    Today, Mr Andrew Chipwende and his ZDA want to impress us by referring to Nigeria as one of the countries having "sound financial resources and vast experience in telecommunications infrastructure development?

    He is obviously clueless!

  4. Check out the recent Post editorial:

    Zamtel vested interests
    Written by Editor

    The choice of RP Capital Partners as the exclusive financial advisor to the government on this transaction is questionable. Rupiah has not yet told the nation what his son Henry’s connection is to RP Capital Partners. What role did Rupiah and his son, Henry, play in securing the appointment of RP Capital? Rupiah would be well advised to address these questions because they won’t go away. Without giving our people satisfactory answers to his role and that of his son, Henry, we are entitled to conclude that this whole transaction is a sham, a scam designed to hide corruption.

  5. The privatization of ZAMTEL, as it is proceeding, will lead to major problems for the average Zambian citizen.

    Its important to note that organized WHITE COLLAR crime is all over these deals. The Dan Gertler connection, involving RP Capital, the Gertler companies and these other shady operators spells clearly of maximizing profits for a select few. The people of Zambia are being ripped off, and the rip-off is just beginning.

    The involvement of companies like CAMEC and GLENCORE amd DGI, and RP Capital etc., operating through and with other front companies based in offshore tax havens (Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, etc.) brings in questions about the most notorious criminals behind the plunder and depopulation in Africa. These would be Moshe Schnitzer, the Gertlers, Benny Steinmetz, Maurice Tempelsman, Billy Rautenbach, John Bredenkamp, Philippe De Moerloose, and so many others.

    To begin with, Israel was built on blood diamonds coming out of Congo, CAR, Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Sierra Leone. But then theres all the Gertler related scandal and mas murder in Congo, Zimbabwe and, clearly, Zambia. But sticking to Gertler's interests in DRC, we find blood all over them from Katanga to Kasai.

    It would be intersted to find out how Gertler is connected to the players on Zambia. Recall that the COPPERBELT -- which Gertler is all over on teh DRC side of teh border -- extends into Zambia for the lucrative cobalt and copper concessions that Gertler must have his eyes on. Gertler has also corrupted the Governor of Katanga, and maintains ties to organized crime in Zimbabwe, and , well, Zambia is right in the middle, no?

    The Gertler gang don't like such facts or details about tyheir criminal operations to be known. Thats why they sent their high powered British law firm after me due to my publication of this story: THE GERTLER STEINMETZ BLING BANG TORAH GANG

    The people of Zambia would be wise to definitively reject the privatization of ZAMTEL and hold the company in the public trust. It wouldn't be up for sale if someone hadn't been paid off, and others expect to make a massive profit. Its business. Big business. And the people of Zambia don't matter to big, white, western business. Just look at Zambia since so-called independence.


    keith harmon snow

  6. Keith,

    Thanks you so much for blogging here.

    Your experience in the DRC and connecting up the same companies operating on both sides of the border is absolutely invaluable.

  7. Though we seem to have reached a point of no return, I cannot bring myself to look past the appointment of RP Capital as sole advisers in the sale of ZAMTEL.

    Transactions of such magnitude usually involve several specialised advisers.

    Secondly, RP Capital is not known as a Mergers and Aqcquisitions adviser. They claim to be an alternative investment firm which helps clients find investment opportunities. This is likely to place them in clear conflict of interest. Why do I say so? M&A firms are hired to advise one party i.e a seller or buyer involved in the sale or purchase of an entity (or part of thereof). In this instance, they will be advising the Government of Zambia (sellers) and yet, based on their own descriptions of their activities, they are meant to be sourcing opportunities for their clients to make investments. I foresee a situation where they will simply use their inside knowledge gained from their involvement with ZAMTEL to their own advantage. They will lead a private equity style leveraged buyout (where an entity is purchased using debt which is later transferred to the books of the purchased entity leaving it debt laden). This will then give them the opportunity to invite their other clients to take a slice of the action by purchasing the new entity (remember that their remit is to identify 'superior intermediate and long-term investment opportunities on behalf of institutional investors and qualified high-net worth individuals').

    The whole exercise will be an unmitigated disaster.

  8. The strongest words yet from the opposition parties on this. Wynter Kabimba is basically threatening bidders with repossession should PF and/or UPND come into power at the next general election.

    However, hearing such public threats RP Capital are likely to ensure their clients, i.e the buyers, are well protected legally if the deal is concluded. So it will be extremely difficult for any future govt to repossess after the deal is done, unless they could prove any serous wrong doing by the current govt. History tells us our govts so far are not good at that.

    Therefore the best thing is to prevent the sale from proceeding now. Can they not raise court injunctions or something?

  9. Meanwhile in Ghana, a govt report on the sale of the country's state-owned telco to Vodafone says it was "unconstitutional and illegal".

    I can see this Zamtel sale going the same way.


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