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IFC HELPS UGANDA FINALIZE TELECOM PRIVATIZATION


L. Joseph
Phone:(202) 473-
Fax:(202) 974-4384
E-mail:ljoseph@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 1998 --- The government of Uganda has invited an international consortium to begin negotiations for the sale of 51 percent of Uganda Telecom Limited, the state telecommunications company. The International Finance Corporation has acted as the financial advisor to the government through the restructuring and privatization process.

The consortium -- comprising WorldTel, the International Telecommunication Union's investment fund, and Detecon, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary -- was the sole bidder in an international tender for the shares, bidding a total of US$23 million in cash and deferred payments


This sale of a majority share of Uganda Telecom to a qualified strategic investor is the final stage in the government's restructuring program for the telecommunications sector which split up the former Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation into three business entities, created an independent regulatory agency, and licensed a Second National Operator.


Mr. Reyaz A. Ahmad, Manager of IFC's Corporate Finance Services Department said this was a good outcome for Uganda, especially at a time when African countries are  competing for a limited pool of international investors.  Although not yet final, the deal demonstrates that international investors recognise the potential of the emerging telecom markets in Africa, he added.


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world and emerging market economies by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  IFC's Corporate Finance Services Department provides financial advisory services for strategic sales and privatizations.