The founder of the the Econet Group, Strive Masiyiwa, said recently that he had turned down “several multibillion-dollar offers” from investors interested in buying one of his companies, Liquid Telecom.
In a press statement we received from the company, Strive says:
“We have received several unsolicited offers for Liquid, but we want it to remain an independent access provider for Internet in Africa. We are going to raise more capital in the market and strengthen its market leadership in this vital space,”
Strive Masiyiwa is already one of the top 50 richest people in Africa. A rich list prepared by Forbes last year put his total net worth at $600 million earning him the 41st position on the list.
In explaining the rationale in rejecting multi-billion dollar offers for his company, Strive said that his plans are to list Liquid Telecom Group in Europe in order to raise money for expansion focused on West Africa.
Masiyiwa says his company wants to ensure that they have enough capacity to carry services like Netflix which consume a lot of bandwidth.
Liquid Telecoms already has about 18,000 km of fibre in Africa and plans to build a further 20,000 km in the next three years.
Meanwhile, Strive’s company in Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which also owns Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe, is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and has seen its share price fall from a high of $0.80 in September last year, to a current low of about $0.27. This has been caused by the severe deflation affecting the Zimbabwe economy as well as a heavily regulated telecommunications industry in the country.
In the statement from Liquid, Strive explained that “Econet Wireless Zimbabwe was our first business which was started nearly 20 years ago, but it is confined to the Zimbabwe market. It is not the holding company for all our businesses.”