The Zimbabwean mobile operator Telecel is coming under increasing pressure to comply with foreign ownership limits, which require operators in the country to have at least 51% of their shares in the hands of domestic investors. Telecel is currently 60%-owned by Orascom Telecom Holdings (OTH), which is itself a subsidiary of Vimpelcom of Russia; the remaining 40% is held by the local consortium Empowerment Corporation, whose members include Kestrel (23%), IEG (18%), Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation (17%), National Miners’ Association (14%), Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (14%) and Magamba eChimurenga (14%). Vimpelcom revealed in October 2012 that Telecel, which is Zimbabwe’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, was up for sale as the Russian group looked to concentrate on its core operations in eastern and western Europe. A buyer has still to be found, however, and the firm is now facing renewed pressure to comply with the foreign ownership legislation.
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