December 16, 2009

Bharti to buy 70% stake in Bangladesh mobile operator Warid

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is set to buy a 70-percent stake in Bangladesh's fourth largest mobile phone operator Warid from its Abu Dhabi-based owners, regulators said Wednesday.

The Dhabi Group, which fully owns Warid, has sought approval from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission for the sale, commission chairman Zia Ahmed told AFP.

The move makes Bharti the latest foreign firm to make inroads into the Bangladesh mobile phone market, which is one of the country's fastest growing and potentially lucrative sectors.

"The Dhabi Group informed us on Sunday that it would sell
70 percent of Warid Telecom shares to Bharti Airtel Ltd. We have sought more papers and the copy of the memorandum of understanding between the two companies," he said.

Ahmed said the company did not mention how much the stake was valued at but added that Bharti had "initially intended to invest 300 million dollars."

"I am sure the new investment will inject new momentum into our telecoms sector," he said.


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