Thursday, April 1, 2010
Bharti And Zain Sign Sale Deal
Marking Bharti’s third attempt to enter the African markets, after two failed attempts to purchase South Africa’s MTN Group, when the deal closes the Indian company’s subscriber base will increase by approximately 42 million, spread across 15 countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Zain’s Moroccan and Sudanese subsidiaries are, however, not included as part of the deal. Indian billionaire and Bharti’s chairman and founder, Sunil Mittal, said of the development: ‘With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel will be transformed into a truly global telecom company.’
Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday by Reuters that the government of Gabon may oppose the sale of Zain's Gabonese unit to Bharti. The state reportedly issued a statement saying that it disapproves of the transaction and 'reserves the right to take all necessary measures', adding that Zain Gabon has 'not complied' with local telecoms regulations.