Econet Seeks $3.1 Billion in Damages from Bharti Airtel
Last month, a court ordered Airtel Nigeria to change their name back to Econet Wireless and give them back the 5 percent stake they had before Zain took over in 2005.
This time, Econet is ready to battle it out with Bharti Airtel in a suit if filed, seeking $3.1 billion in damages from them according to Reuters.
Econet says its 5 percent stake was cancelled after Zain took over, so anything decided since then without them, including the $10 billion transfer from Zain to Airtel in 2010, is “null and void.”
Bharti Airtel, the fifth biggest phone carrier in the world by subscribers, said their stake in Airtel Nigeria was “completely safe” and they had appealed against the court’s verdict.
According to Reuters, the document Econet said it had filed stated: “The claim for damages and equitable compensation against the applicant and some of the respondents might be in excess of $3 billion.”
“The above estimated damages might also be in addition to a claim for $100 million received by the applicant as fees for the management of VNL (Vee Networks Limited, a former name of Airtel) for a period of six years, which sum should have accrued.”
An Airtel spokesman said Econet’s stake wasn’t cancelled but was “set aside pending final resolution” instead.
Meanwhile, shares in Bharti Airtel are said to be falling to as much as 4 percent since Econet filed the suit on Jan. 30.
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