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)