In ANYTHING on April 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

In the Name of…?

The most crisis-ridden GSM firm in Nigeria is at it again as the Nigerian Federal High Court ordered Airtel Nigeria to return to its former name, Econet Wireless Limited.

The court also ordered the Bharti Airtel to restore Econet Wireless’s five per cent shareholding in Airtel Nigeria. Econet Wireless had kicked against Zain’s decision to sell the Nigerian business to Bharti Airtel, claiming its right of first refusal.

Zain, however, went ahead to sell its African mobile business including Nigeria to Bharti in 2010 for $10.7bn.

The Court, therefore, ordered that all actions, and resolutions taken by the company, since October 2003, at which Econet was entitled to be notified, and to participate in, as a shareholder, but was prohibited, were null and void. This, according to the court, includes decisions to sell shares, issue shares, and transfer shares to third parties.

The court also ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission to cancel any certificate previously issued for the company’s change of the name of the company and restore its name to Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited.

An appeal by Airtel sure follows, as the name-change game continues.


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