Bharti Airtel has just purchased Kuwait’s largest public company, the African mobile networks of Zain for a reported US$9 billion which will make the company Africa’s second largest mobile network company. As part of the deal Bharti Airtel will be assuming US$1.7 billion of Zain’s outstanding debt.
Chairman of Bharti i.e. Sunil Mittal says the agreement is a very important step forward for the global telecoms industry here and will make this operation the fifth largest mobile operation service in the world. He also said they are very excited about the future for the company and feel that there is a huge amount of growth potential beginning in the African market of which they now hope to be leaders.
This deal has been the result of over a year of talks and negotiations and a huge amount of speculation as to what the future for Zain was likely to be. The company Zain began as a small mobile operator in Kuwait and went on to become one of the largest in the region with an annual turnover in excess of US6billion and over 71 million subscribers.
Zain first entered the African market in 2005 by acquiring Celtel. It is now being stated that a large amount of the proceeds from this sale will be given to shareholders in way of dividends and that the company now intends to concentrate on its Middle East market.Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News