Airtel to sign $10.7 bn deal, enter Africa | business | Hindustan Times
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Airtel to sign $10.7 bn deal, enter Africa

business Updated: Feb 15, 2010 02:03 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times
Bharti Airtel

India’s largest telecom company, Bharti Airtel, is set to try its luck for the third time to dial an entry into Africa.

The board of Kuwait-based Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC — which functions under the ‘Zain’ brand — on Sunday accepted Bharti’s proposal to buy its Africa operations, excluding Morocco and Sudan, in a $10.7 billion (Rs 50,000 crore) all-cash deal.

The Zain board is likely to make an announcement late on Sunday and take the proposal to its shareholders on Monday, a source told Hindustan Times.

Zain’s largest shareholder is the state-owned Kuwait Investment Authority that owns a 24.6 per cent stake. The Kharafi family is the other large shareholder.

The company is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

Bharti Airtel’s spokesperson refused to comment. Zain did not reply to an email query.

If the deal is successful, Bharti — which offers services in three countries (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) — will become an operator in 15 more in Africa.

Earlier, Bharti had made two failed attempts to enter Africa by acquiring South Africa-based MTN.