Lapgreen says Zambian High Court decision troubling but will go even to International courts

Thursday 12 April, 2012 – LAP GreenN, the Libyan Investment Authority’s international telecommunications arm, has expressed its disappointment today at the decision taken on Tuesday by the Zambian High Court not to freeze their US$256m 75% shareholding in Zamtel, which was seized by the Zambian Government from LAP GreenN earlier this year. This request from LAP GreenN was to ensure that the Government does nothing with its shares as it has been reported it might, until the matter has been properly settled by its Petition in the courts.

In its Petition, LAP GreenN requests that its 75% equity in Zamtel and the management control of it, is returned forthwith, failing which it seeks market-value compensation in the amount of $480m, which is the value of the shares at the time the Zambian Government seized them. This reflects the significant investments and improvements made by LAP GreenN since their purchase of Zamtel in June 2010. In addition LAP GreenN is seeking damages for the substantial losses it has suffered as result of the illegal seizure.

LAP GreenN stated today: “While we have stated previously that we hope the Government will see that their actions are not in the interests of either Zamtel or Zambia and that reason will prevail, Tuesday’s decision is troubling. Basic safeguards and reassurances to protect our shareholdings should be in place until this case is resolved. Our preference is of course that Zamtel and our equity in it is returned to us, so that LAP GreenN can resume making its important contribution to the Zambian people and the Zambian economy, however no-one should be in any doubt that we will vigorously pursue our full legal rights and interests in Zamtel through the courts both in Zambia and internationally, until we have satisfaction.”

In the 18 months that LAP GreenN managed Zamtel they made significant improvements to the company, leading to unprecedented growth and prosperity, including a 50% increase in revenues.  The subscriber base was increased by 600%, there was a 100% increase in the number of base stations and not only did Zambian customers benefit from vastly superior network performance and customer service, but the 25% holding of the government was increased in value by nearly US$100m.

The Zambian High Court will hear LAP Green’s Petition on 9th July 2012.

Statement emailed to Watchdog by Erin Godbold

Share this post