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Sat 27 Mar 2010 01:39 PM

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Zain, Bharti deal could take months to close - TV

Zain is about to sell most of its African assets to Bharti Airtel for $9bn.

The closing of the deal between Kuwaiti telecom firm Zain and India's Bharti Airtel could take weeks or months, Zain's chairman was quoted as saying.

"The closing of the deal could take weeks or months, for our assets to be transferred under a new name which is Bharti," Zain's Chairman Asaad al-Banwan told Al Arabiya television in an interview aired on Saturday.

Zain is about to sell most of its African assets to Bharti Airtel for $9 billion, finally giving the Indian buyer its much sought-after foothold in Africa's fast-growing market.

Banwan said that shareholders were expected to get cash dividend from the sale, but it still needs the approval of the firm's board.

On Wednesday, the Kuwaiti firm said that the due diligence for the deal has been completed and that it would be signed in a few days.

Exclusive talks between the two firms for the African assets expired on March 25. (Reuters)

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