Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Essar Takeover of Warid in Africa Could Take 14 Weeks

DISCUSSIONS between the Dhabi Group, the owners of WARID Telecom Uganda, and the Essar Group on a possible takeover of Dhabi's African interest are expected to last up to 14 weeks.

WARID Telecom Uganda has denied reports that a deal, allowing Essar to take over control of WARID and Dhabi's other African interests had been reached.

Last week, the Dhabi Group announced that it had agreed to enter into exclusive discussions in relation to an investment by Essar Group into the telecommunications portfolio of the Dhabi Group's African assets.

Haider Hussain, WARID head of marketing and customer care, said over the weekend that it was still early to predict the outcome of the discussions.

"They are still talking to us. They want to give us money but they may chose or not to invest in the group," said Hussain.

According to a statement issued early last week, the transaction would involve an equity infusion into these businesses as growth capital as the basis of a partnership to create a significant presence in Africa.

Essar holds a 33% interest in Vodafone Essar, which is a joint venture with the Vodafone Group.

The Group is one of India's largest cellular service providers, with over 75 million subscribers.

Essar Telecom Kenya has also recently launched Kenya's fourth mobile cellular network under the brand "Yu."

Standard Chartered Bank is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Dhabi Group. The Dhabi Group has several business interests, which focus on emerging market opportunities in financial services, telecommunications and real estate. The group also has banking interests in Asia.

Other business interests include hotels, oil-related services, and

The Group aims to strengthen its reach and diversify its portfolio through a series of strategic partnerships that will help optimise its potential in the emerging markets.

Essar has significant interests in telecommunications services, spanning mobile telephony, telecom tower infrastructure, telecom retail and IT/telecom-enabled services.

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