China-based equipment vendor Huawei is reportedly in talks with the Guinean government in order to acquire defunct state-owned fixed and wireless network operator Societe des Telecoms de Guinee (Sotelgui), TMT Finance reports. Huawei has provided Sotelgui with various vendor financing loans over the past few years, which may explain the latest development, the website notes.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Sotelgui’s financial situation has deteriorated dramatically since April 2010, with the company reportedly owed USD22.5 million by the government, following years of non-payment for services. The government indicated in June 2012 that it would be seeking a new international partner for Sotelgui, offering a 60% stake, with the remaining 40% to be distributed between the state, the public, and its employees. The plans to sell a stake in the PTO were put on hold in January 2013, however, after the government secured a USD50 million loan from the World Bank for the restructuring of the telco.