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Tanzanian government to get bigger stake in Bharti Airtel's Tanzania unit

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Tanzanian government to get bigger stake in Bharti Airtel's Tanzania unit

Bharti Airtel Ltd. will give part of its stake in Airtel Tanzania Ltd. to the Tanzanian government, hiking the East African country's stake in the mobile phone operator to 49% from 40%, according to a Jan. 12 Livemint report.

Following the transaction, the Indian telco would retain a 51% stake in the company. Tanzania President John Magufuli said that in addition to giving the government more shares, Bharti Airtel had agreed to pay dividends to the state.

The announcement came after President John Magufuli and Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal held talks to resolve a dispute over ownership of the Tanzanian mobile operator.

The government of Tanzania had earlier objected to Bharti Airtel's decision to opt for an initial public offering of Airtel Africa Ltd., the telco's U.K.-incorporated subsidiary. Tanzania, being a shareholder of the Airtel Tanzania joint venture, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, was reportedly irked at not being made a part of the planning process to sell shares.