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Court dismisses Bharti appeal

The Federal High Court of Nigeria has dismissed Bharti Airtel’s application for a stay preventing a decision in favour of Econet Wireless.

Bharti sought the stay to prevent Econet Wireless from enforcing its rights pending Bharti’s appeal of a ruling handed down in January 2012. In the earlier judgment, the court ruled that Econet Wireless is entitled to a 5% shareholding in Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited (“EWNL”) and its share certificates must be re-issued.

The court said as a shareholder, Econet Wireless had a right to participate in all decisions which required shareholder approval. Consequently, all resolutions passed since October 2003 by shareholder agreement in which Econet was not invited to participate, are null and void and must be reversed.

The change to the name of the Company to Bharti Airtel Nigeria was also found to be irregular, null and void and must be reversed to rename the Company EWNL.

Econet Wireless says it will seek to implement the ruling without delay and to continue its work to ensure its rights under the law are upheld.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, the High Court in Lagos has set the date of 4 June to hear another injunction application by Bharti Airtel which has been filed and seeks to prevent an international arbitral process from assessing the amount of equitable compensation and damages due to Econet Wireless. 

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