TN Bank becomes Econet subsidiary as Nyambirai sells stake

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Tawanda Naymbirai
Tawanda Naymbirai
Tawanda Naymbirai announcing the sale of his stake in TN Bank to Econet wireless. On his left is Econet Wireless Group CEO, Craig Fitzgerald.

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.



  1. Boardhouse

    Such take overs should not be allowed Econet should concentrate in its telecoms sector , one company can not become a nation monopoly , owning banks, retail stores. newspapers and telecoms company. They havent even made telecoms sector top quality and affordable

    1. Muse

      I bet Richard Branson approves though.

    2. Dogstar

      I agree this should be looked in to. This will bite Econet in the back if they diversify too much into industries not relevant to their core business.

  2. Bhinikwa

    Let shareholders & RBZ & securities commission decide that. As long as there are no conflicts of interests I have no problems. I had problems with Tawanda being Econet Chairman & significant shareholder & founder of TN bank. Now it seems better

  3. Corporate Governance Guru

    This was the best decision by Tawanda Nyambirai. It was only logical that he stood down as he was no longer independent as he highlighted. This goes to show that Nyambirai upholds corporate governance practices. @boardhouse:disqus be reminded that Econet’s decision to acquire TN was purely a business decision. There is no law that prohibits any company from owning a bank. For the avoidance of doubt TN Bank was acquired by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe the parent company of Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd. Am sure you are confusing between the two (Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd.

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