ECONET SUES VODACOM OVER NIGERIAN OFFER FOR EWN

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Econet Wireless has filed an application against Vodacom South Africa in the High Court of Nigeria alleging they engaged in actions to Œinduce a breach of contract’. EWI state their offer to take up additional equity in Econet Wireless Nigeria (EWN) to the value of US$150 million was accepted by the Board of EWN, acting with the prior mandate of shareholders, in May this year. Despite the existence of that contract Vodacom South Africa made a subsequent offer for a share of Econet Wireless Nigeria.

"It seems that history is repeating itself as, once again, I find myself having to go to court to defend the legal rights of my company," said Strive Masiyiwa, Chief Executive of Econet Wireless International.

"We simply want everyone to play by the same rules," Masiyiwa said. "We have always been very open about our ambitions and business in Nigeria, we would simply ask that Vodacom affords us the same consideration."

"We met with Vodacom in good faith to explain the irregularity of their offer. We even provided them with full details of our contractual agreement with EWN," Masiyiwa said. "It was therefore very surprising to learn Vodacom have continued negotiations with the Board of EWN and appear somehow to have convinced the Board to disregard the existence of the agreement with my company."

"As such we are now forced to take Vodacom to court for inducing a breach of contract," Masiyiwa said.

"Stakeholders of Vodacom should be aware of the highly irregular actions Vodacom have taken in their bid to gain entry into the lucrative Nigerian telecommunications market and which precipitated our taking legal action," Masiyiwa said.

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