The government on Wednesday offered all help possible to enable telecom player Bharti Airtel see through the acquisition of Kuwait-based Zain’s telecom operations in Africa.
“The Bharti management has not approached us yet. If they do, I will be very happy to help them because when they go out, it’s not the company alone but they are our flag-bearers. We will do the utmost of what we can,” Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.
Asked about the regulatory roadblocks that the company may face, Khurshid said: “Nothing has been brought to our notice yet. As in the past (reffering to Bharti’s failed bid for South Africa’s MTN), there was obviously policy issues. As far as the present information (regarding Zain) is concerned, nothing has come to us. But if anything comes to us, as I said, we will do whatever, we can.”
Mittal also said Airtel was not bothered about the efforts of Econet, a minority shareholder of African mobile operator Zain, to block sale of that company’s Nigerian assets to it.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel erased some of the previous sessions’ losses after Chairman Sunil Mittal said the top mobile operator hopes to conclude the deal by March 25 and does not see funding as an issue. The stock rose 2.4 per cent to Rs 279.10, after tumbling more than 13 per cent over two days following the Zain offer. ♀