30th January, 2012
Airtel Nigeria has appealed against the judgment of 24 January 2012 at the Federal High Court of Nigeria by Honourable Justice Shuaib, in the matter between Econet Wireless Ltd (‘EWL’) vs. Bharti Airtel Nigeria Limited, suit No FHC/KD/39/2008 (Formerly FHC/L/172/2004) regarding Econet Wireless Limited’s (EWL) claim to the ownership of 5% equity in Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Nigeria).According to a statement issued today by the management of Airtel Nigeria, an appeal against the said judgment has been filed.
In addition, the management of Airtel Nigeria said the judgment will have no impact on the equity holding of other shareholders in Airtel Nigeria.
According to the statement, the management of Airtel assured its customers, employees and business partners that the ruling will in no way affect operations or the company’s ability to fulfill obligations to its stakeholders.
The summary of the judgment is as follows:
*Econet Wireless Ltd, an international company, domiciled in the United Kingdom, is a shareholder of Bharti Airtel Nigeria Limited and holds 5% of the issued shares of the company.
*The Court ordered that all actions, and resolutions taken by the company, since October 2003, at which EWL was entitled to be notified, and to participate in, as a shareholder, but was prohibited, are null and void. This includes decisions to sell shares, issue shares, and also transfer shares to third parties.
*The Court also ordered that the name change from Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited, effected in 2003, was irregular, and must be reversed forthwith.
*The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has been ordered to cancel any certificate previously issued for the change of the name of the company and restore the name of the company to Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited.
As a result of the judgment by the Honorable Justice Shuaib, Econet Wireless Limited through its lawyers has now written to the company, with the following requests:
*Immediately reissue shares in the company to Econet to reinstate its 5% interest.
*Provide Econet full access to information relating particularly to board decisions and shareholder resolutions in accordance with the Companies Act, the shareholders agreement between the parties and in pursuance of the orders of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.