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Sun 19 Jul 2009 03:17 PM

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Dhabi and India's Essa in talks over Africa expansion

Essar Group may invest into Dhabi Group's telecommunication business in Africa.

India's Essar Group may invest into Dhabi Group's telecommunication business in Africa to expand operations in the region, the Indian energy-to-steel conglomerate said in a statement on Sunday.

Dhabi, a group of investors based in the UAE, and Essar agreed to enter exclusive talks for the latter to put equity into the African businesses of the Middle Eastern group for growth capital, Essar said.

The investment "will be the basis of a partnership to create a significant presence in Africa," Essar said.

Dhabi's telecom assets in Africa include Warid Telecom Uganda and Warid Congo SA, the group's website showed.

The Indian group already offers mobile services in Kenya under the 'yu' brand through its unit, Essar Telecom Kenya.

Essar Group is Vodafone's partner in India's No.3 mobile firm, Vodafone Essar. It holds a 33 percent stake in Vodafone Essar and holds a stake of less than 10 percent in Loop Telecom's parent, Loop Mobile.

Standard Chartered Bank is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Dhabi Group, the Essar statement said. (Reuters)

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