International tribunal Awards damages to Econet in claim over 65% stake in Bharti Nigeria

Press Statement - 16 February 2012

International Tribunal awards damages to Econet in claim over 65% stake in Bharti Nigeria

Econet Wireless Limited (“EWL”) has been victorious for a second time in less than a month in long-running legal cases to establish its ownership rights to shares in the Bharti Airtel operator in Nigeria (“Bharti Nigeria”). 

In an up-beat start to the year, EWL has not only won its long-running battle in the Nigerian Federal High Court to confirm its 5% take in Bharti Nigeria, but has also been victorious in an International Arbitration examining the deal by which Celtel Nigeria, now owned by Bharti, seized control of 65% of the Nigerian operator in 2006. 

The International UNCITRAL Tribunal (comprising senior Nigerian and English lawyers) found multiple breaches of a shareholders’ agreement by both the selling shareholders and Celtel Nigeria, ordering them to pay damages/equitable compensation to Econet (in an amount to be determined in a further round of the arbitration). 

In a statement Econet said: “We are naturally pleased that we received very clear findings in our favour in both of these actions.  As SingTel (part-owner of Bharti Airtel) has been forced to acknowledge in its latest Q3 results, both outcomes are clearly “unfavourable rulings” from their perspective – but to Econet they represent a vindication of its long campaign for restoration of its rights in Nigeria, and for compensation for loss of a controlling stake which has since been sold to Bharti for a premium of several billion dollars.”

To view the SingTel Q3 results extract - Click here (97Kb PDF)


Econet Wireless limited vs Bharti Airtel Nigeria limited

On 24th Jan 2012, in the Federal High Court of Nigeria, the Honorable Justice Shuaibu, handed down judgment in the matter between Econet Wireless Ltd vs. Bharti Airtel Nigeria Limited. In these chapters, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman of Econet Wireless International discusses this extraordinary case & the significance of this ruling on Corporate Africa.

11 Chapters now online                                                               


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