National fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) has reportedly indicated that it intends to acquire the 35% stake currently owned by Indian-backed operator Airtel, thus giving the government full ownership of the telco. According to IPPMedia, the TTCL is waiting for an official endorsement from the Parliamentary Committee for Public Accounts (PAC) before pressing ahead with an offer of TZS14 billion (USD7.56 million). TTCL CEO Kamugisha Kazaura commented: ‘The basic decision has already been reached by government to repossess the 35% stake by our co-shareholder. We request the committee to help in speeding up the process.’ Kazaura also noted that the TTCL is unable to pay the TZS25 billion debt that it currently owes the Tanzania Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TTRA) as its aging infrastructure is not attracting enough customers.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2014 Airtel refused a TZS5 billion offer from the Tanzanian government, with the Indian firm reportedly asking for TZS21.5 billion for the stake.