Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bharti Airtel to Buy Warid Group's Congo Telecom Operations

Bharti Airtel Ltd.  said Tuesday it agreed to acquire the Warid Group's telecommunications business in the Republic of the Congo, as the Indian telecom company tries to strengthen its operations in Africa.

A news release from Bharti didn't give any financial terms.

The Warid Group is part of the United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Group that has investments ranging from technology to agriculture. Bharti in 2010 bought a majority stake in Warid's Bangladesh telecom operations. It also bought the group's Ugandan operations earlier this year.

The latest deal comes at a time Bharti is facing regulatory and legal hurdles on its home market and as it tries to turn around its loss-making African operations.

Bharti, about 32%-owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. entered Africa in June 2010 by buying the African telecom operations of Mobile Telecommunications Co.

"The latest acquisition will make Airtel the largest mobile operator in Congo Brazzaville with around 2.6 million customers," the news release said. At present, Airtel has more than 1.6 million customers there, it said.

South Africa's MTN Group Ltd.  is at present the market leader in Congo.

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