ECONET CHALLENGES TAKEOVER BIDS FOR ECONET WIRELESS NIGERIA

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless International (EWI) is challenging the legality of potential take-over bids from South Africa’s Vodacom and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom for Econet Wireless Nigeria (EWN), the second largest mobile company in Nigeria, in which EWI holds a 5% stake.

According to EWI, existing shareholders have priority in increasing their shareholding before outside investors may be considered. An EWI-led consortium had apparently proposed an investment of US$150m in EWN (increasing its stake to 33%) but this offer has not been accepted by EWN.

At the hearing of the matter on Thursday, Justice Rose Ukeje adjourned the matter till September 17, 2003 to allow the defendants to file their preliminary objection, following indication by counsel that they would want to challenge the suit.

Liquid Africa and The Vanguard