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Government starts search for new UTL investor

The revamping of Uganda Telecome Limited (UTL) suffers a setback as Taleology, a Nigerian telecom company pulls out. (PHOTO/FILE)

KAMPALA – The government is searching for a fresh investor to take up Uganda Telecom’s (UTL) operations, after partying ways with Taleology, a Nigerian telecom company.

According to the State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyn Anite, the Cabinet is now looking for a new investor to take up UTL after Nigeria’s Taleology did not honour its part of the bargain.

In October 2018, the Cabinet handed UTL to Taleology, bringing an end to a competition for the state-owned telecom now branding itself as an ICT network.

Ms. Anite said Taleology did not honour its part of the deal which was to make a non-refundable 10 per cent payment, in this case, USD 7 million within a month from the date of the offer and then the balance three months later.

That was over six months ago. Under the deal, Taleology would own 67 percent shares while the government remains a minority shareholder.

Then, although Taleology was found to be the fittest company to take over UTL, Ms. Anite believed that the state-funded Mauritius Telecom was the most qualified for UTL’s operations to be handed to.

UTL, formerly under Libyan government ownership through UCOM, went under after the Libyan government, who were the majority shareholders, pulled out of the troubled telecom.

The Libyan government had a 69 percent stake in UTL while the government of Uganda held 31 percent.

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