One of four mobile phone networks in Sierra Leone, Comium, has sold off its Liberia subsidiary, the company’s Commercial Director, Joe Amara Bangali has confirmed to Politico.
Even though he would not say for how much the company was sold, he said the reason for selling was that it was “no longer profitable”.
However, until a few weeks ago, Comium Liberia had among its corporate subscribers the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) who are the lead customer base for the country’s mobile phone industry which has four functional mobile phone companies with the fifth, Libercell, in a moribund state.
Mr Bangali denied reports that Comium Sierra Leone was on the verge of being sold. “There are no plans to sell Comium Sierra Leone,” he said. He however admitted that they were looking for “technology partners” whom he said did not necessarily have to own equity in the company, and that no company had yet contacted them for this. He was quick to add though that they were not advertising for such a partner.
A group of European businesspeople recently told Politico on condition of anonymity that they had made moves to buy over Comium Sierra Leone “after we were contacted by people acting for the company”.
Comium Liberia was established in 2004, one year before its Sierra Leone subsidiary came into being.
The recent history of corporate takeover in Sierra Leone has not been all pleasing with some leaving in their wake some numb reaction. When the Africell mobile phone company took over Tigo, staff at the latter company complained of marginalisation and incommensurate conditions of service.
Invariably, when Pro Credit Bank was taken over by ECOBANK, staff of the subsumed bank complained of marginalisation while customers complained of the lack of some facilities they had been used to.