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Zimbabwe Telecoms Giant Econet to Spin Off Financial Units

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Zimbabwe Telecoms Giant Econet to Spin Off Financial Units

  • Econet Wireless plans to create separately listed business
  • Restructuring includes sale of Liquid stake back to parent

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd. plans to list its financial units as a single entity on the country’s stock exchange and sell a majority stake in network operator Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe back to the firm’s parent company.

The Harare-based firm founded by Zimbabwean tycoon Strive Masiyiwa plans to create a newly listed business called Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Ltd., according to a circular to investors. EcoCash, Econet Life, Econet Insurance and Steward Bank Ltd. will be transferred into the new entity.

The move comes two months after Bloomberg News reported Econet was in talks about a restructuring, said to be related to long-mooted plans by Liquid to sell shares on a stock exchange. Africa’s largest broadband-network operator owns about 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles) of cross-border fiber networks on the continent and has ambitions to link up homes and businesses in some of the world’s least-connected countries.

Shares in the wireless carrier have more than doubled this year, valuing the business at $7.3 billion. Econet, the parent company, is also considering selling shares on the London Stock Exchange, people familiar with the matter said a year ago.

Shareholders will vote on the separate listing plan this month.

(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph.)