Statement issued on behalf of Econet Wireless
LAGOS, Nigeria -- October 04, 2012
The High Court in Lagos, Nigeria, today dismissed an application by Bharti
Airtel to set aside an award made by an international commercial arbitration
tribunal in favour of Econet Wireless. The judgement paves the way for the
matter to be referred back to the international tribunal to set the quantum of
damages and compensation that Bharti must pay to Econet Wireless. In Court
papers, Econet said that it is submitting a claim valued in excess of $3bn.
The international tribunal (comprising senior Nigerian and English lawyers)
found multiple breaches of a shareholders’ agreement by both the selling
shareholders and Celtel Nigeria, now Bharti Airtel Nigeria, ordering them to
pay damages/equitable compensation to Econet (in an amount to be determined in
a further round of the arbitration). The ruling said that the purchase of a
65% shareholding in Nigeria's second largest cell phone company, by Celtel,
was violated the pre-emption rights of existing shareholder, Econet Wireless.
Celtel’s parent company, Zain of Kuwait later sold the controlling stake to
Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecoms operator. The international tribunal’s
award was handed down in December last year.
In an extensive judgment, the Lagos High Court found that the International
Tribunal had been correctly constituted, had jurisdiction and had acted
correctly on all accounts.
For further information please visit:
www.econetwireless.com or call:
Matt Ridsdale or Jeremy Carey
Tel: +44 (0)20 7920 3150 / +44 7545 577 754
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