Media update statement on the release of the written transcript of the judgment in favour of Econet on the ownership of the 5% Bharti

Press Statement - 11 February 2012

Media update statement on the release of the written transcript of the judgment in favour of Econet on the ownership of the 5% Bharti Airtel networks Nigeria

The Federal High Court of Nigeria, on 10th February 2012, released the written transcript of its judgment handed down on 24th January 2012. The transcript is a public document which can be obtained directly from the Federal High Court in Kaduna.

Econet lawyers have transcribed a summary of the key points in the judgment, and a summary is attached to this statement, for ease of reference. The full transcript, as well as this summary are available below:

Full transcript of judgment (1,7Mb PDF)

Summary extract from the judgment of Justice Shuaibu (600Kb PDF)

 

Developments since the ruling:

On 26th January 2012, Airtel Networks Limited (formerly Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited (“Bharti”), filed an Application for Stay of Execution of the said court judgment, made in favor of Econet. In its application, Bharti told the court that, if the judgment is implemented, it would have the following effect:

… that:

5.1       the Judgment, particularly the nullification of the decisions held at the meetings to which the Plaintiff #(Econet) was not invited will adversely affect the operations of the Applicant #(Bharti), and its corporate existence, and may impair its ability to effectively prosecute its appeal against the Judgment;

5.2       If the effect of the Judgment is not suspended pending the determination of the Applicant’s appeal, a number of key corporate actions taken by the Applicant will be unraveled and this will cause the Applicant incalculable financial loss.

A full copy of the above application can be obtained from the Federal High Court in Kaduna or by clicking the link below:

Application for stay of execution (6MbPDF)

Econet filed a Counter Affidavit on 8 February 2012, opposing Bharti’s Application for Stay of Execution. In its Counter Affidavit, Econet claims that the allegations by Bharti on the impact of the said judgment if executed, as referred to in paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2 of Bharti’s application, “are false”, and Econet has submitted a press statement issued by Bharti, on 27 January 2012, in which it stated, as follows:

We wish to assure our customers, employees and business partners that the ruling will in no way affect operations or the company’s ability to fulfill obligations to its stakeholders

A full copy of the Econet Counter Affidavit can be obtained from the Federal High Court in Kaduna or by clicking the link below:

Econet Counter Affadavit (17Mb PDF)

Notes:

Bharti Airtel acquired the African Assets of Zain of Kuwait at a reported US$10.7bn. The Nigerian business was valued in the transaction at US$4.5bn. This places the value of the Econet’s 5% shareholding at the time at US$225m.

 

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