Not satisfied with court judgement : Airtel

airtel-econet-caseBharti Airtel on Thursday said it is not satisfied with the judgement of the Appeal Court on its ownership case in Nigeria.  The Indian company lost the case in Nigerian court pertaining to claim by Econet Wireless that it holds a 5% stake in Airtel’s Nigeria unit.

“Bharti Airtel, a 79.06% shareholder in Airtel Networks Limited, Nigeria is not satisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos delivered on Feb 14,” Bharti said in a statement.

Bharti lost the case against Econet Wireless in the Court of Appeal in Lagos and a judggement in this regard favoring the African operator had came on 14 February. Teleanalysis had first reported it earlier today.

” We will lodge an appeal against that decision at the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” the company said. Though analysts in Nigeria said the court’s action would badly impact Bharti Airtel’s business in Nigeria, the company states that the judgment has no impact on the equity holding of Bharti Airtel or of the other shareholders in Airtel Nigeria.

Loosing the case means Bharti  has to pay a claim fee in excess of $3 billion to Econet Wireless.
The company said that its Nigeria unit has already launched an appeal before the Supreme Court of Nigeria against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna in the matter relating to Econet’s claim for 5% shares in Airtel Nigeria. “These shares in any case are held in an escrow account and do not affect Bharti Airtel’s 79.06% stake in Airtel Nigeria,” said Bharti.

Anticipating a negative impact from the industry on the court judgement the Sunil Mittal led firm said it will have no effect on its Nigeria business.

“Airtel wishes to assure its customers, employees and business partners that these judgments will in no way affect operations of Airtel Nigeria,” the spokesperson told Teleanalysis.
Bharti Airtel and Airtel Nigeria  have full confidence in the laws of the land, and believe the Supreme Court in Nigeria will determine the appeals on merits, the statement added.

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