Daily Champion (Lagos)

13 July 2011

Nigeria: Helios, Telkom Extol Okeahalam on Multilinks

Chief Executive Officer, Helios Towers Nigeria (HTN), Mr Inder Bajaj, has commended Nigerian international investment strategist, Prof. Charles Okeahalam for facilitating the sale of MultiLinks Telkom to Helios Investment Partners (HIP).

Daily Champion recalls that a dispute arose from the sale of the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) arm of Telkom Multilinks Nigeria to Visafone Communications, due to a subsisting contract Telkom had with HIP, the owners of Helios Towers Nigeria.

This culminated HTN bringing charges of breach of contract against Telkom SA and sued for US$252 million dollars.

Prof. Charles Okeahalam, Chief Executive Officer of AGH Capital in Johannesburg and Non-Executive Director of BGL Plc, reportedly developed a strategy through which the dispute between Telkom and HIP over Multilinks Nigeria was amicably resolved and eventually Multilinks was sold to HTN.

"We are very pleased to reach an agreement with Telkom. Upon acquisition Helios Investment Partners will take forward the future course of Multilinks to ensure the smooth and orderly transition, re-introduce operational stability and maximize value for all stakeholders including Telkom. Telkom and HTN wish to acknowledge the visionary leadership and diplomacy role of Prof Charles Okeahalam who brought both parties together to enable them to reach this agreement." Bajaj said in a press statement made available to Daily Champion.

Equally commented, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Telkom, Nombulelo Moholi said they were glad to have been able to negotiate an agreement which would enhance the strategic focus for Telkom.

Chairman of Telkom, Mr. Lazarus Zim, was also quoted as saying "We believe that this is a win-win transaction that will yield benefits to both sets of shareholders," stressing that they assume that the step taken would be beneficial to all of Multi-Links ' stakeholders particularly, employees and customers in Nigeria.

The legal battle that ensured, experts say have implications not just for the two firms in question but for the large number of employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders dependent on the continued operation of Multilinks.

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