Tanzania Begins Talks With Airtel on Local Unit Ownership Row

Tanzanian officials have began talks with Bharti Airtel Ltd. to discuss ownership of the company that is disputed, according to the presidency.

The company requested the proceedings after a government investigation into the ownership of Airtel’s local unit found that the 60 percent stake was transferred illegally, according to the emailed statement from President John Magufuli’s office.

“The negotiations are aimed at reaching agreement between both parties and strengthening the communication sector in Tanzania,” according to the statement.

Airtel said in December that its 2010 acquisition of the stake from Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co., known as Zain, was in full compliance and followed all approvals from the government. Tanzania’s complaint relates to the initial privatization of the company five years prior to when Airtel took control, it said in a statement at the time.

Source: Bloomberg