Azur Telecom, which offers mobile services in Gabon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR), faces an uncertain future, AfricTelegraph.com reports. According to the news site the stricken mobile group owes money to Chinese vendor partner Huawei, and has also failed to pay the fees owed for its various interconnection agreements. In Gabon, the company’s accounts have reportedly been frozen several times due to its debt pile, while in the Republic of Congo it can no longer afford to pay its employees’ wages.
The company is said to be owned by Congolese businessman Jean Bruno Obambi, who purchased it from Lebanon-based BinTel Ltd ‘for a small fee’, without informing the relevant regulatory authorities. Further, the report notes that Monaco Telecom – which signed a three year strategic partnership with the group in June 2014 – has now backed out the agreement after being made aware of the perilous state of Azur’s finances.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2015 Azur invited interested parties to make an offer for a 20% stake in the group, valued at around EUR20 million (USD23.7 million); no bids were forthcoming.