Isabel dos Santos
Home Lifestyle Billionaires Former Africa’s Richest Woman, Isabel dos Santos, Suffers Another Setback

Former Africa’s Richest Woman, Isabel dos Santos, Suffers Another Setback

Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of former Angolan president, José Eduardo dos Santos and the 2013 Forbes‘ richest woman in Africa, has suffered a major blow after losing a legal battle that will cost her more than $600 million in damages.

Isabel’s corporate empire and personal life have continued to take a hit for over a year since Rui Pinto, a Portuguese hacker and whistleblower, leaked more than 700,000 documents that showed how the businesswoman amassed wealth through illegal business practices, embezzlement, money laundering and nepotism. 

In October 2020, Isabel suffered another tragedy – her husband, Sindika Dokolo, died in a diving accident in Dubai.

Forbes declared her Africa’s richest woman in 2013 with a net worth of over $2 billion. However, Isabel, whose assets are still frozen in Angola and Portugal, was not mentioned in the 2021 billionaires’ list of the US magazine.

Here is a summary of her latest ordeal, a shareholder dispute concerning Unitel, Angola’s main mobile operator.

1. On Jan. 26, 2021, a five-member tribunal of the International Court of Arbitration (ICC), based in Paris, rejected Isabel’s request for the annulment of an arbitration award that will require her and her co-shareholders to pay USD 650 million in damages to PT Ventures, a former shareholder and Portuguese telecom.

2. The latest court verdict is a result of a long judicial procedure that began in 2015. Isabel, through her company, Vidatel, owned a 25% stake in Unitel, same with three other players namely, PT Ventures, Geni, owned by an Angolan general, Leopoldino do Nascimento, and an Angola telco, Mercury, which is owned by Sonangol, the Angolan government oil company.

3. PT Ventures, which is owned by Brazilian telecommunications giant, Oi, had claimed the shareholders’ agreement between the company and Unitel was incessantly violated thereby decreasing the value of PT Ventures’ stake in Unitel. 

4. In a 500-page document, the court upheld PT Ventures’ argument. It held that the shareholders’ obligations to PT Ventures were repeatedly breached and that the three remaining shareholders failed to pay certain dividends to PT Ventures.

5. According to the court, PT Ventures will receive approximately USD 340 million awarded as a consequence of the violations of the shareholder agreement, and approximately USD 315 million due for non-payment of dividends since 2012, while costs in the cause were awarded to the tune of USD 12 million. The company will also retain its shareholding.


Leave a Reply

Check Also

7 Underrated Businesses to Make You a Multi-Millionaire with Low Investment

In a world teeming with entrepreneurial spirits, the dream to become a multi-millionaire w…