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Week commencing 16 March 2015
GlaxoSmithKline has sold half its stake in Aspen Pharmacare, the South African drugs manufacturuer, for $853m, at a discount of nearly 10% to the market price. The move is part of GSK’s policy of selling non-core assets as it refocuses its business and leave GSK with a 6.2% stake in Aspen. GSK says the disposal gives it flexibility to invest in new opportunities in the wake of a $20bn-plus asset swap transaction with Novartis.
Business Day (South Africa) 13 March
Zimbabwe’s third largest mobile phone company has been closed down for not having a licence. Telecel Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom that has 2.5-million subscribers, has been embroiled in a bitter dispute over the disposal of a 40% stake in the company worth US$20m. The Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe first wrote to Telecel in January, warning that the company would be shut down for failing to comply with the country’s laws on ownership, which require that foreign-owned companies cede a majority shareholding to locals. Daily Nation (Kenya) March 12
All diamond mining operations in Zimbabwe would be consolidated into one firm in which the state will hold a 50% stake, Zimbabwe Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said last week, giving miners until today (16 March) to accept the proposal. President Robert Mugabe’s government has stakes of varying degrees in all firms operating in the Marange fields on the eastern border with Mozambique, but the new proposal could see Rio Tinto’s Murowa Diamonds, located in Zvishavane, coming under government control. All Africa 12 March
Nigeria’s Keystone Bank has fully divested from Orient Bank, its Ugandan subsidiary. Its 80% stake has been sold to minority shareholders as part of a consortium led by 8Miles LLP, an Africa- focused private equity fund. The Central Bank of Nigerina has already been approved the transaction. The Guardian (Nigeria) 8 March
Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State government is considering privatising the Ibom Power Plant in in Ikot Abasi, says Senas Ukpana, the special adviser on investment and industrialisation to the state government. He told Nigerian journalists this was in line with global practice and that it was in line with government policy. Ukpana also chairs the State Investment Corporation. This Day Live (Nigeria) 10 March
Flame Tree Group, the water tanks and fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer recently listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has acquired Chirag Kenya brands, which produces spices, snacks and honeycomb biscuits. The value of the deal, which still needs regulatory approval, was not disclosed. The Star (Kenya) 13 March