Bharti Africa-bound after Zain accepts $9b deal

Robert Clark
25 Mar 2010

Bharti Airtel is finally set to make its mark on the African mobile business after the board of Zain voted to accept its $9 billion offer for its African assets.

The acquisition of mobile operators in 15 countries would make Bharti the world’s seventh largest cellco, with 165 million subscribers, the Economic Timesreported.

The price includes $1.7 billion in debt and comes just on the eve of today’s deadline the two parties set for an agreement.

Bharti has already lined up $8.5 billion in debt financing, and sources close to the deal said because of this it could be finalized within several days.

Bharti has twice unsuccessfully tried to woo South African-based MTN. Now it is one of MTN’s biggest competitor in the race to sign up customers in Africa’s fast-growing mobile markets.

Bharti’s stock closed at 306.80 rupees on Tuesday, down 3%, with investors anxious about the lack of detail over the deal.

told the

Economic Times.

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