Bharti Airtel Completes Zain Africa Acquisition

Bharti Airtel has completed its acquisition of Zain Group’s African business for $10.7bn (£7.4bn) in what amounts to the largest telecom deal completed by an Indian company.

Bharti agreed the deal with Zain Group at the end of March, after twice attempting, and failing, to agree a $23bn merger deal with S. African teleco MTN. Included in this deal are Zain’s African mobile services operations in 15 countries – Zain’s businesses in Sudan and Morocco are not included – with a total customer base of over 42m. Zain is the market leader in 10 of these countries and ranks second in four more.

The acquisition makes Bharti Airtel the world’s fifth largest wireless company, with operations across 18 countries. Bharti group’s global telecom footprint, along with operations in Seychelles, Jersey, and Guernsey, now covers 21 countries and over 1.8 billion people – the second largest population coverage among Telcos globally.

“We are delighted at the closure of this transformational deal for India and Bharti Airtel,” says Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel’s chairman and managing director. The transaction is the largest ever cross-border deal in an emerging market and will result in combined revenues of about $13bn.”