Another Indian firm targets African operator


sms.jpgAnother Indian firm has expressed its interest in entering the lucrative African telecoms market. According to Cellular News, Essar Group is set to invest into Abu Dhabi Group’s telecoms business, which would give it access to the firm’s African subsidiaries.

The Dhabi Group owns Warid Telecom International, which has African operations in Uganda and Republic of the Congo. Warid is expected to launch in the Ivory Coast soon.

The agreement was signed by H.E Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, Chairman of the Dhabi Group and Warid Telecom and Prashant Ruia, Chief Executive of Essar Group.

“The transaction will involve an equity infusion into these businesses as growth capital and will be the basis of a partnership to create a significant presence in Africa,” according to a joint press release. The talks are exclusive for an undisclosed period.

Essar already has an African investment through its holding in Essar Telecom Kenya.

Indian telecom companies have in recent months intensified their efforts to get a share of the African market with four firms already in negotiations to establish their presence on the continent,

The telco giants have acknowledged the positive developmental changes in Africa, stimulating the rush by foreign firms to seize opportunities in the telecom sector.

Many other telecom companies — including China Mobile, Germany’s Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom, Singapore Telecommunications, and Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecommunications — have expressed interest in buying assets in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. All aim to buy growth in emerging markets where wireless phone usage has skyrocketed.