Tanzania Looking to Buy Bharti Aitel's 35% Stake in Local Landline Operator

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Tanzania's government is pushing ahead with plans to buy back the 35% stake in a local telecoms network currently owned by India's Bharti Airtel.

Bharti Airtel acquired the 35% stake in TTCL when it bought Zain's African assets in 2010. At the time, the Tanzanian government tried to enforce an option to buy the stake from Zain, but the price being asked was higher than the government wanted to pay.

The government sold the 35% stake in 2001 for USD65 million, and in 2005 agreed to split the company into separate mobile and landline operators.

However, over the past couple of years the government has repeatedly said it wanted to buy back the 35% stake, and take TTCL entirely into state ownership.

"We had talks with our fellow partner on how to buy the shares. We are still working on the financial reports which are update-audited," TTCL Chief Executive Officer Kamugisha Kazaura told The Guardian noting that the move is intended to look at how the situation economically is in Airtel before buying the shares.

The deal does not affect Airtel's mobile network, which it owns a 60% stake in.

On the web: The Guardian

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Tags: ttcl  bharti airtel  Tanzania 

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