Zain to pay Bharti Airtel $129mn in Africa business sale settlement

Zain to pay Bharti Airtel $129mn in Africa business sale settlement
A woman walks past a Zain customer care shop in Kenya's capital Nairobi February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Zain, Kuwait’s No.1 telecom operator by subscribers, on Thursday said it will pay $129 million to Bharti Airtel over a settlement related to the sale of Zain’s Africa operations to the Indian firm in 2010.

The payment will have no future financial impact on Zain as it set aside provisions to cover potential payments related to the transaction at the time of the sale, a spokesman for Zain, which operates in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa, said.

Zain in 2010 completed the $9 billion sale of its Africa business, which included operations across 15 countries. Zain still operates in South Sudan and Sudan, according to its website.

Thursday’s statement did not disclose what the settlement related to. In the company’s third-quarter financial statement, Zain said it was liable for “taxation claims and amounts that may be due for unprovided litigation claims” after the sale of Zain Africa.

The company last month reported a better than expected 12 percent rise in third-quarter results.

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