Ethio Telecom Ptl Privatization to Conclude in 5 Months, Sugar Estates Privatization Progressing

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Addis Ababa February 17/2021 (ENA) The Government of Ethiopia is finalizing preparations to complete partial privatization of Ethio Telecom within the next five to six months and full privatization of sugar estates has been progressing well, according to Ministry of Finance.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Senior Advisor Biruk Taye said partial privatization of Ethio Telecom and full privatization of the sugar estates have been among the major activities given priority.

“The next major deliverable would be to complete the partial privatization of Ethio Telecom and that should be done within the next five to six months,” he confirmed.

Before that, the issuance of two new telecom licenses would be concluded on April 5, 2021, the senior advisor stated. “We will be able to identify the two new telecom operators that join the Ethiopian telecom market by April.”  

Immediately after that, partial privatization of Ethio Telecom will be completed,” Biruk added.

To achieve that goal, transaction advisor has been involved and a steering committee composed of representatives from Ministry of Finance, Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency (PEHAA), and Ethio Telecom itself have been working on the strategic transaction document.

Regarding the full privatization of 10 sugar estates in the first phase, the technical documentation, valuation and marketing strategy, the proclamation and policy documents were either completed or at final stages, it was learned.

According to Biruk, the PEHAA has already shortlisted six companies and a transaction advisor will be designated through a competitive tendering process next month or in a month and half. The shortlisted companies are all international major auditing firms.

“We hope one of them will be selected based on their technical and financial submission  within a month or a month and half, and they will help the government to identify the most qualified bidder to buy the sugar estates,” the senior advisor elaborated.

Ethiopia’s decision to allow local and international investors to buy stakes in some of its largest stateowned enterprises came after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office.

It is to be recalled that the country is open to selling off a host of state-owned firms, either partially or entirely, as part of a major economic reform drive designed to unleash the potential of the private sector.