Tawanda Nyambirai, Lifestyle Holdings CEO and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Chairman, announced today that he has accepted an offer from Econet Wireless to buy him out of TN bank. Speaking at a press briefing today Nyambirai said he will be selling his stake in the bank he founded in exchange for shareholding in Econet Wireless. As a result of the transaction Nyambirai said he will be stepping down as chairman of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to become a director on the board of the parent company Econet Wireless Group.
The proposed new chairman of Econet Zimbabwe is James Myers, who has served on the Econet Wireless Zimbabwe since 2009.
Asked to reveal for how much the transaction was worth, Nyambirai said he could not disclose the details as due process (approval from the Securities Commission, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) has to go through first.
The briefing was also attended by current Econet CEO, Douglas Mboweni and Econet Wireless Group CEO, Craig Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald thanked Nyambirai for leading the organisation through challenging times adding that as an organisation they are grateful that Nyambirai has agreed to remain as director at a global level. Econet Zim CEO, Douglas Mboweni, also thanked Nyambirai.
Here’s Nyambirai’s full announcement:
I am privileged to have been the chairman of Econet for about 10 or so years now, but as a result of a recent development which is that Econet has since made me an offer that I acknowledge to have received, it has not yet gone through the Securities Commission and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange but knowing how our market operates I thought I must be the first to talk about it before other people talk about it.
I have since received an offer to buy out the remainder of my shareholding in TN Bank in exchange for shares in Econet wireless. The result will be that TN Bank will become a 100% subsidiary of Econet Wireless. The offer which I have already accepted, which I believe shall be extended to the rest of the minority shareholders of TN Bank is still to go through the normal processes; approval by SEC, approval by Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and approval by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The result of the offer is that I will be a minority shareholder in Econet Wireless, as a result of which I will cease to be independent. I have been an independent chairman of Econet and in that regard have discharged my duties as best as I could in all the circumstances. But because I will cease to be an independent director and an independent chairman of Econet I have made an election to step down from the Econet board. I returned from London today where I had a face to face meeting with Strive Masiyiwa to tender my resignation to him. So I will cease to be an Econet director. I have elected rather to sit on the board of Econet Wireless Global which is the international company that is the holding company to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
Econet, which already owned 62% of TN Bank, part of which it acquired in July this year. Econet CEO, Douglas Mboweni is on recording saying that they acquired the stake in the bank to drive the adoption of Econet’s mobile money transfer service, EcoCash.