End of an era: Finally, Econet Wireless exits Airtel Nigeria

A long-drawn, bitter legal squabble between the two telecom giants has ended as Econet Wireless exits Airtel Nigeria after a settlement.

Do you remember Econet Wireless? Econet and MTN kicked off the GSM telephony race in Nigeria. Through a series of acquisitions, Econet Wireless eventually became a minority shareholder in the network which has undergone several ownership and identity changes since then. Today, that network is known as Airtel. Before Airtel Bharti stepped in, the network was known as Zain. See: Zain Nigeria now Airtel Nigeria.

Econet Wireless exits Airtel Nigeria: How It Happened

But there has been a long-drawn, bitter legal squabble between Econet Wireless and the board of Airtel Nigeria over the years. According to the Economic Times of India, Airtel Bharti, the majority holders in Airtel Nigeria have “reached settlement with Econet Wireless, and with this move, the telco’s holding in Airtel Nigeria has surged to 83.25%.”

According to the report, Econet Wireless has relinquished its 4.2% stake in Airtel Nigeria for an undisclosed amount. And with that, Econet Wireless’ presence in Nigeria comes to an end. It is the end of an era.

ECONET Wireless exits Airtel Nigeria

Econet Wireless is a much bigger telecom entity than its Nigerian stake though. The company still has mobile telephony operations in six (6) other African countries. The countries include:

  1. Botswana
  2. Burundi
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Lesotho
  5. South Africa
  6. Zimbabwe

Econet is the largest mobile network operator in Zimbabwe. In addition to the above mobile telephony operations on the African continent, the Econet Wireless Group has other telecommunications operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific rim.

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