ABU DHABI, Nov 16 – Essar Group – the owners of Essar Telecom Kenya Limited which operates Yu mobile network – has acquired a majority stake into Dhabi Group’s Warid Telecom that runs mobile services in Uganda and Congo.
The deal was signed on Sunday by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, chairman of the Dhabi Group and Prashant Ruia, Group Chief Executive Essar Group. The enterprise valuation of the Uganda and Congo operations is collectively valued at $318 million.
The Indian giant has committed growth capital to both telecom operations to facilitate network expansion and marketing. Upon completion, the Essar Group will acquire a majority stake in both the assets.
Sheikh Al Nahayan said: “We are pleased to join hands with a group that both complements and extends our synergies to expand further into Africa. Warid has expanded its greenfield operations to become credible competitors and challengers in the market where it operates; the time is now right for the next stage of its growth and evolution.”
On his part, Mr Ruia said: “Essar is delighted to partner with the Dhabi Group to expand Essar’s telecom operations in Uganda and Congo. This is in line with Essar’s plan to be a part of the growing telecom market in Africa.”
Dhabi Group and its Chairman, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, lead a consortium of investors composed of private equity and family offices in the region. The Group has diversified business interests with a focus on emerging market opportunities in financial services, telecommunications and real estate.
Dhabi Group and its consortia have banking interests in Asia; its portfolio was expanded in 2005 to include telecommunications services in Asia and Africa. Other business interests include real estate development, hotels, and manufacturing industrials.
The Essar Group is a diversified business corporation with a balanced portfolio of assets in the manufacturing and services sectors of Steel, Energy, Power, Communications, Shipping Ports and Logistics, Projects, Construction, and Mining & Minerals. With operations in more than 20 countries across five continents, the Group employs 60,000 people, with revenues of over $15 billion in the 2008/09 financial year.
Essar has significant interests in telecommunications services, spanning mobile telephony, telecom tower infrastructure, telecom retail and IT telecom enabled services.
It holds a 33 percent interest in Vodafone Essar, which is a joint venture with the Vodafone Group, and is one of India’s largest cellular service providers, with over 85 million subscribers.
Essar Telecom Kenya launched Kenya’s fourth mobile cellular network under brand Yu.
‘The MobileStore’, a pioneering telecom retail initiative from the Group, is India\’s largest national retail chain of mobile phone stores with over 1,300 stores spread across 200 cities in the country.
The Group owns Essar Telecom Infrastructure Ltd., one of the largest independent telecom tower infrastructure providers in India.
Essar operates an outsourcing services business under the Aegis brand, with over 39,000 employees globally across 38 delivery centres in India, Philippines, Costa Rica, USA, Kenya, South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka.