VENTURES AFRICA – Angola’s richest woman and serial entrepreneur, Isabel dos Santos is set to acquire a stake in private airline Halcyonair Cabo Verde Airways, nine months after the majority shareholder announced it wanted to sell up to 40 percent.
The airline sees the impending investment as “an opportunity for the airline to re-launch its flights.” However, Cape Verdean weekly newspaper, A Semana, reports that the deal still needs approval from shareholders “that do not want to give up their stakes.”
Halcyonair Cabo Verde Airways, which is Cape Verde’s first private airline, launched its domestic flights on 31 July, 2008, operating daily to the islands of Sal, S. Vicente and Santiago, and two weeks later started flying to islands of Boa Vista and Fogo.
In 2010, the company bought a second aircraft but in mid 2011 it fell into a deep financial crisis and is currently not operating whilst this deal is concluded, which is expected to happen by the first half of January.
A Semana also reported the possibility of selling of the airline in its entirety has been set aside.
The entrepreneur and daughter of Angola’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, travelled to Praia in October to conclude a deal to buy Cape Verdean company T+, which provides fixed line, mobile and Internet services.
Later called Unitel T+ Telecomunicações, following its acquisition by Unitel Internacional, an Angolan company owned by Isabel dos Santos, the Cape Verdean telecoms operator had a 25 percent share of the Cape Verdean market.
Isabel dos Santos is one Africa’s richest women, with major stakes in Portuguese banks Banco Espírito Santo and Banco Português de Investimento, and in Energias de Portugal, which generates and distributes electricity. She also has significant interests in telecommunications, media, retail, finance and energy. both in Angola and Portugal.