Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bharti Airtel becomes 5th largest in world, after acquisition of Zain

Country's leading telecom services provider Bharti Airtel today announced the completion of acquisition of Kuwait-based Zain Group's mobile operations in 15 countries across Africa for 10.7 billion dollars, making it the world's fifth largest telecom firm.

''We are delighted at the closure of this transformational deal for India and Bharti Airtel...Bharti is now among the five largest mobile operators in the world,'' Bharti Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal told a press conference here.

The transaction, he said, is the largest ever cross-border deal in emerging markets and will result in combined revenues of about 12.4 billion dollars and EBITA of over 4.7 billion dollars.

Zain has over 42 million customers in these 15 African countries--Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Zain is the leader in 10 of these countries and second in four countries.

With this acquisition, Bharti has a presence in 18 countries across Asia and Africa with a customer base of over 180 million.

As per the deal, Bharti will be paying 8.3 billion dollars upfront and 700 million dollars after a year. The company would also take over about 1.7 billion dollars of Zain's debts as on December 31, 2009.

The deal comes after Bharti had failed twice in the last two years to strike a 23 billion dollars merger deal with South African telecom firm MTN.

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