Celtel clinches Nigerian deal

Last month, Johannesburg-based Econet Wireless International, a 5% equity shareholder in V-Mobile, had sent a team of legal, financial and technical to Nigeria in order to conduct a due diligence on the operator.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  May 31, 2006

Celtel International, a subsidiary of MTC Group of Kuwait has announced that it has concluded a transaction to acquire a controlling stake of 65% in Nigerian mobile operator V-Mobile, for US$1.005 billion. This transaction will expand Celtel’s presence to 15 markets on the African continent. V-Mobile offers mobile coverage to more than 5 million customers throughout Nigeria, and the transaction includes the purchase of existing shares and a substantial equity injection, which will immediately boost V-Mobile’s financial ability to realise its growth potential. “This agreement marks Celtel’s most important expansion in Africa to date. Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest and fastest growing markets and we are delighted that we can bring our extensive expertise and resources to offer Nigerians the best possible quality of services,” said Marten Pieters, CEO of Celtel International. Last month, Johannesburg-based Econet Wireless International, a 5% equity shareholder in V-Mobile, had sent a team of legal, financial and technical to Nigeria in order to conduct a due diligence on the operator. Having acknowledged being notified of Celtel’s offer for the majority stake in V-Mobile, Econet issued a statement insisting that it had the right of first refusal over the offer made by Celtel, and an Econet official confirmed his company was set to outline its position only after it had studied the offer document as submitted by Celtel. In 2003, Econet successfully scuppered an effort by South African operator Vodacom to gain a controlling stake in V-Mobile on the basis that it had not been offered its pre-emptive rights to the shares.

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