Telecel Burkina Faso’s ownership settled by latest Paris’ ICC decision

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

An Arbitral Tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France rendered a final award in the dispute between Zain (owned by Etisalat UAE)  and Planor Afrique ("Planor") relating to Zain’s Burkina Faso subsidiary, Telecel Faso.

The Arbitral Tribunal upheld Zain’'s claims that the Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA") entered into by Zain  and Planor in September 2007 to settle their dispute regarding Telecel Faso was valid, binding and enforceable and that Planor had breached the MOA.

The Arbitral Tribunal also ordered Planor to take the necessary steps to close the transaction contemplated by the MOA within 60 days as from the notification of the award, on penalty of a €10,000 per day in the way of non-compliance fine as from the 61st day. In addition, the Arbitral Tribunal also awarded Zain monetary damages for the losses arising from breach of the MOA.

The MOA was signed by Etissalat UAE (as a substantial stakeholder in Atlantique Telecom) and Planor in September 2007 to provide a global settlement of the dispute relating to Telecel Faso (in which Planor Afrique was the minority shareholder). The MOA stipulates that Atlantique Telecom will own a 68% stake in Telecel Faso and that Planor Afrique will own a 32% stake. The MOA also provides for the definitive withdrawal of all pending claims between Planor Afrique and Atlantique Telecom relating to Telecel Faso.

Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications of the Etisalat Group , said: "Etisalat UAE notes with satisfaction that the ICC Tribunal has confirmed the binding nature of the settlement agreement reached with Planor Afrique. Etisalat intends to proceed quickly with the implementation of the MOA, so as to facilitate the Group's plans for significant contributions to the advancement of the telecommunications sector in Burkina Faso.

"We would like to take this opportunity to assure our customers in Burkina Faso that we will introduce world-class value added services to this fast growing nation", Mr. Bin Ali said.