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Bharti makes final payment of $700 mn to Zain

Private telecom operator Bharti Airtel pays the last tranche of $700 million dollar to Kuwait-based Zain for buying its Africa assets, completing the full and final cash payment of $9 billion.

twitter-logoPTI | June 24, 2011 | Updated 08:25 IST

Private telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Thursday paid the last tranche of $700 million dollar to Kuwait-based Zain for buying its Africa assets, completing the full and final cash payment of $9 billion.

"The company has received the final payment of $700 million from the sale of its African Assets in accordance with the agreement of the transaction, in which the sum was to be paid one year after the transaction, conditional on the completion of both the final approvals and the sale and transfer of property," Zain said in a statement.

Last year, Bharti Airtel had acquired Zain Telecom's Africa operations for $10.7 billion to become the world's fifth largest mobile operator with a total 180 million subscribers in 18 nations in Asia and Africa.

"The funds will further strengthen the company's financial position although it must be noted that the amount was calculated as profits in the financial statements of the second quarter of 2010, and therefore will not have any effect on the financial statements for the current quarter of 2011," Zain added.

For completing the deal, Bharti had paid $7.9 billion and the balance $400 million from the total upfront payment was done latter.

The remaining $700 million was to be paid after a year. Bharti had also taken into its books over $1.7 billion of Zain's debts as on December 31, 2009.

Read how Africa is emerging as land of opportunities for India Inc.

Bharti had acquired Zain Telecom's operations in 15 African nations, excluding Sudan and Morocco.

Earlier, the company had said that its Africa arm is expected to make a capital expenditure of $1-1.2 billion during the current fiscal on the operations.

During 2010-11, Airtel's Africa operations reported a net loss of Rs 480 crore, while revenues stood at Rs 13,083 crore.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the Airtel Africa company had 44.2 million GSM mobile customers on its network.

During the quarter, the company added 2.1 million customers.

The ARPU (average revenue per user) for the quarter was $7.2 a month. The blended monthly usage per customer, during the quarter was at 115 minutes.

The total user base of Bharti in 19 nations stands at over 185 million. The company has also launched its brand Airtel in all 16 African countries.

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