Zain wins ‘TelecomFinance Deal of the Year’ award for Africa assets sale to Bharti Airtel
- First ever Deal of the Year nominee to win by unanimous votes from all judges
- Bin Salamah: "The award validates our decision to capitalize on our investment by selling at the right time and recognizes the hard work of all who made the deal happen" "
Monday January 31, 2011
Zain, the leading network operator in the Middle East, has won the ‘TelecomFinance Middle East and Africa Deal of the Year award' for the sale of its Africa assets to Bharti Airtel in June, 2010 for US$10.7 billion.
The Zain / Bharti Airtel deal was shortlisted among six other deals in the Middle East & Africa region which is voted on by an independent (i.e., non-bank, non-operator) panel of judges.
"The sale of Zain's African assets to Bharti is the first ever Telecom Finance Deal of the Year nominee to win unanimous yes-votes from all our independent panel of judges," said Claire Landon, Editor of TelecomFinance, speaking at the awards ceremony in London, which was attended by many senior telecom VIP's. "For Zain, the deal marked a profitable exit from its successful African business, while for Bharti, it represented an Indian company finally making good on an attempt to buy into the high growth African market."
The judging panel was fulsome in its praise: "A quickly executed and well managed deal" and "a huge deal to consummate under a lot of pressure from the media and with the added complexity of multiple stakeholders and regulators" were just two of the plaudits from the judges.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bharti Airtel was entitled to use the Zain brand and related trademarks to Bharti in all of Zain's 15 African operations until November 2010, when the African operations were rebranded to Airtel.
"The award validates our decision to capitalize on our investment by selling at the right time that was best for our stakeholders, while at the same time maximizing shareholder value. It has allowed us to focus on our growing and profitable Middle East operations, while in Bharti Airtel we leave the continent in safe and capable hands," said Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah. "It also recognizes the hard work of all who made the deal happen . They gained valuable experience that will stand us in good stead as we move forward into an exciting future."