Essar exits African telecoms market

Essar exists African telecoms market (image source: file photo)

Essar Group continues to withdraw from the telecom sector across the globe. After already exiting the Indian market, the company has now returned acquisitions in Uganda and Congo to Warid Telecom.

The company is currently looking for a buyer for their Kenya business unit.

According to an Essar source, the company is moving away from the telecoms sectors in order to focus on other ventures.

“From what I gather from the meetings, they are not thinking telecom networks are the right move for the company and are looking to off load all recent transactions to focus on other endeavors especially outsourcing,” Essar’s source

In March 2011, Essar agreed to sell its 33% stake in Vodafone Essar, India’s third largest telecom operator.

Essar had initially struck a deal for a majority stake in Warid Telecom’s operations in Uganda and Congo in November 2009, with an enterprise value of about $318 million. A third source says the deal fell through because required approvals were not received.

According to Essar’s recent media statement “It was mutually decided between the partners, Essar and Warid Group, not to proceed with the deal as certain conditions precedent pertaining to government clearance were not met.”

Essar’s assets are being returned to Warid in order to finalise their settlement agreement.

By: Andrew Matapare – ICT Senior Journalist