ECONET WIRELESS NIGERIA DENIES SALE TO VODACOM STALLED

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

In a sworn affidavit presented to the Federal High Court, Tunde Oyewole, Legal adviser to EWN advised that the negotiations on the equity investment with Vodacom International Limited had been aborted as far back as December 19, 2003.

EWN are arguing that it is no longer necessary for the court to grant an injunction to Econet Wireless International to stop Vodacom from buying an interest in EWN because they have aborted all negotiations with Vodacom.

The affidavit was presented to the Nigerian High Court on Tuesday as supporting evidence in the case brought by Econet Wireless International for an order of injunction. EWI have requested the injunction to restrain directors of EWN from accepting an offer from Vodacom for the acquisition of a controlling stake in the company. EWI claim they have pre-emptive rights to any shares issued.

EWN felt the need to issue a press release saying that the details of the new structure that the two companies (EWN and Vodacom) are working on cannot be made known at this stage due to a confidentiality clause, but the transaction is expected to be concluded in the next few weeks. It may be that a management contract is being put together while the shareholder dispute is resolved. Vodacom personnel are apparently already in Nigeria. According to EWI spokesman Kevin Kachidza: "Clever corporate financial structuring will not circumvent the arbitration process in any way, and the results of the process will still be binding on all parties," says Kachidza.

(SOURCES: Nigerian press and IT Web)