International Tribunal awards damages to Econet in claim over 65% stake in Airtel Nigeria

By Telecom Lead Team: The International UNCITRAL Tribunal
including Nigerian and English lawyers has found multiple breaches of a
shareholder agreement by both the selling shareholders and Celtel Nigeria. The
tribunal ordered them to pay damages/equitable compensation to Econet Wireless
in an amount to be determined in a further round of the arbitration.


We are naturally pleased that we received very clear findings
in our favor in both of these actions. As SingTel, part-owner of Bharti Airtel,
has been forced to acknowledge in its latest Q3 results, both outcomes are
clearly unfavourable rulings from their perspective but to Econet they
represent a vindication of its long campaign for restoration of its rights in
Nigeria, and for compensation for loss of a controlling stake which has since
been sold to Bharti for a premium of several billion dollars,” a press release
from Econet


The press release said Econet is victorious for a second
time in less than a month in long-running legal cases to establish its
ownership rights to shares in the Bharti Airtel operator in Nigeria.


Airtel was not available for comments.


Recently, Econet won its long-running battle in the
Nigerian Federal High Court to confirm its 5 percent stake in Bharti Nigeria.


Econet Wireless announced that the Justice Shuaib of the
Federal High Court of Nigeria handed down judgment in the matter between Econet
Wireless (EWL) vs. Bharti Airtel Nigeria, in suit No FHC/KD/39/2008 (Formerly

Court asks Airtel Nigeria to reinstate shareholding of Econet


According to the judgment, Econet Wireless of the United
Kingdom is a shareholder of Bharti Airtel Nigeria and holds 5 percent of the
issued shares of the company. The court ordered Airtel to reinstate the
shareholding of EWL.


The court ordered that all actions, and resolutions taken
by the company, since October 2003, at which EWL was entitled to be notified,
and to participate in, as a shareholder, but was prohibited, are null and void.
This includes decisions to sell shares, issue shares, and also transfer shares
to third parties.


The court also ordered that the name change from Econet
Wireless Nigeria, effected in 2003, was irregular, and must be reversed


In response to the Court rule, Airtel decided to appeal.


[email protected]