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Bharti’s Attempt for Zain Possessions in Nigeria

Middle East : 18 February 2010

Bharti Airtel’s strategy to acquire most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Zain for $10.7 billion (Dh39.3 billion) may face hurdles.

Econet chief executive officer Strive Masiyiwa said that the Airtel’s plan can’t include Zain’s Celtel because of an ownership dispute with Econet Wireless Holdings.

Masiyiwa said that Zain Nigeria was not offered for sale.

For Bharti, problems in Nigeria may be a show case of what might lie in future against its bid to take over Zain’s operations in 15 countries.

Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications, Zain, and Bharti said in statements that they will hold exclusive talks on the assets before March 25.

Econet, stationed in Johannesburg, is attempting to capsize a 2006 deal in which Celtel acquired 65-per cent stake in Nigerian mobile operator Vmobile, since then renamed Zain Nigeria.


Econet’s Masiyiwa said that the matter is still in arbitration and Nigeria [operations] cannot be sold until that dispute is resolved.

Zain acquired Celtel International in 2005 for $3.4 billion to enlarge its operations to 13 African countries, including Kenya and Nigeria.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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