Monday, March 8, 2010
Econet Persists In Holding Back Zain Deal
Econet, which owns a 5% stake in Zain Nigeria, claims that its right of first refusal over the ownership of the cellco was breached in May 2006, when its Nigerian partners sold their shares to Zain, and recently applied for interim measures to prevent Zain from selling, transferring, disposing of, dealing with or otherwise encumbering the disputed stake until the matter is resolved.
Bharti Airtel entered a period of exclusive negotiations, lasting until 25 March 2010, with Zain over its African operations. It remains to be seen whether delays to the sale of Zain Nigeria, Zain’s largest African subsidiary with an estimated 15.22 million customers at year-end 2009, will threaten the timely conclusion of a deal between Bharti and Zain.