INTERNATIONAL – India’s Bharti Airtel has agreed to give part of its stake in Airtel Tanzania to the government, raising the East African nation’s holding in the mobile phone operator to 49 percent from 40 percent, the president’s office said on Friday.
The announcement followed talks in Dar es Salaam between President John Magufuli and Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal to resolve a dispute over ownership of the Tanzanian mobile operator.
Bharti Airtel would retain a 51 percent stake in the company, the president’s office said, without giving a value for shares being transferred to the government.
Airtel Tanzania had no immediate comment on the announcement.
Magufuli had said in 2017 that state-run Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) owned the local subsidiary of Bharti Airtel outright but had been cheated out of shares.
Bharti Airtel had disputed this, saying it received all the required approvals from the state when it bought a 60 percent stake and had complied with all government rules.