Libyan government investment vehicle Libyan African Investments Portfolio (LAP) has acquired an 80% stake in Southern Sudanese telecoms operator Gemtel via its telecoms arm, LAP Green Networks, Ugandan news source The New Vision reports.
Gemtel was licensed by the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in 1996 and launched commercial GSM services shortly after in the cities of Juba and Yei. By mid-2009 the company had expanded its footprint to cover Waw, Torit, Bor and Rumbek.
Gemtel uses the dialling code of Uganda (+256), thanks to an interconnection agreement with Uganda Telecom (UTL) signed in September 2006, which allows the cellco to use the gateway for USD50,000 in interconnection fees per month.
LAP Green already operates in East Africa through its 80% shareholding in Rwandan fixed line and mobile telephony operator Rwandatel and 69% stake in UTL. The company also holds an interest in Sahelcom and Sonitel of Niger, and controls Oricel Green, a mobile operator in Cote d’Ivoire.
According to a statement from LAP Green, the firm has been shortlisted to buy a 75% stake in Zambia’s sole fixed line operator, Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel).