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Zambian unit Celtel Zambia will not be de-listed says Airtel boss

posted 24 Nov 2010, 09:52 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 24 Nov 2010, 09:54 ]

Bharti Airtel says that it has no plan to delist its Zambian unit Celtel Zambia from the Lusaka bourse, the head of the Indian telecom's international business said.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (NOVEMBER 23, 2010) REUTERS - 
Bharti Airtel has no plan to delist its Zambian unit Celtel Zambia from the Lusaka bourse, the head of the Indian telecom's international business said on Tuesday (November 23).



Bharti, which currently owns about 78 percent in the unit, last week offered minority shareholders 710 kwacha (0.15 US dollars) per share of the unit.

Manoj Kohli said in an interview he did not expect many minority shareholders to sell.

"Shareholders have an option, open offer doesn't mean that shareholders have to sell, it means that they have an option to sell or to retain fully or partially and I think it's a great opportunity for shareholders to participate in the long term. We do not have any intention to delist in Zambia. We will wait for the final process to be over," he said.

The offer price represents a 6 percent premium on the firm's last traded price of 670 kwacha (0.14 US dollars), when it was suspended from trade in June, in preparation for Bharti Airtel's move to buy a stake in the company.

Under Lusaka bourse regulations, a company has to delist if a single shareholder owns more than 95 percent.

Bharti acquired the African telecoms assets off Kuwaiti group Zain in a 9 billion US dollar deal in June, giving it access to what it says is the "biggest future continent" for telecoms, and making it the world's fifth biggest mobile operator.

"Our key factor will be 3G because internet, access to internet is very important for the youth of today and we will really help youths to access to internet very, very fast," Kohli said.

Airtel carried out an over night re-branding that meant Zambians woke up to see Airtel colours on its former Zain outlets and billboards.

With the unveiling of the new brand identity, airtel has become the master brand for all its 19 operations in Asia and Africa covering over 200 million customers.

Re-branding was also carried out in Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya by the company.

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