The closed-door meeting which focused on raising money to offset a debt of over Shs160b that Utl is currently in, included President Museveni, the Libyan Foreign minister, Mr Mohamed Al-Dairi, Uganda’s State minister for Privatisation, Mr Aston Kajara, Mr Wafik Al-Shater, Group chief executive officer of Lap Green and Utl chairman, Mr Stephen Kaboyo.
“Utl is at a critical stage of the business where we have embarked on the process of rehabilitating the business, refocusing our strategy and improving profitability of the company. All the interventions by the shareholders are aimed at creating conditions to reestablish Utl’s credibility as a truly Ugandan brand, repositioning to compete strongly and reclaim our once respectable market share,” said Mr Kaboyo yesterday in a statement.
Utl almost had its licence revoked by the Uganda Communications Commission for defaulting on various obligations – including non-payment of interconnection fees to MTN and Airtel.
Utl’s liabilities had also outstripped assets by about Shs146b with UCC describing it as being in a state of “financial collapse.”
“In terms of Utl cash requirements, let me say that telecoms require a threshold in millions of dollars on a consistent basis to get investment up, rebrand, fully optimise, achieve economies of scale and remain competitive. The business case and financial solution for Utl that mentions $65m is the baseline that will enable us shift into a capitalised turnaround,” Mr Kaboyo said, adding Utl needs more than that to recover fully.