SA tech firms settle Nigeria differences
by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – TELKOM and Blue Label Telecoms have made a breakthrough in resolving their long-running dispute in Nigeria.
The two companies were claiming billions of rand from each other following
the failure of Multi-Links in the West African country.
Today, the parties to both the arbitration proceedings and the action
announced that they had agreed to settle their disputes on the basis that
all claims and counterclaims are withdrawn and each party will be
responsible for the payment of their own costs.
In terms of the settlement all of the parties have agreed to withdraw all
allegations of any wrongdoing which they made against each other in the
course of advancing their various claims, counterclaims and defences.
In June 2011, arbitration proceedings were instituted by Africa Prepaid
Services Nigeria Limited (APSN) against Multi-Links Telecommunications
Limited under the auspices of the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa.
APSN is a subsidiary of Blue Label Telecoms Limited (“Blue Label”).
Multi-Links is a former subsidiary of Telkom.
APSN claimed payment of the sum of US$457 million against Multi-Links
arising out of the termination of the Super Dealer Agreement between
Multi-Links and APSN, in relation to the distribution of Multi-Links’
products and services by APSN, in Nigeria.
Multi-Links counterclaimed against APSN for payment of the sum of US$123 million.
Telkom and Multi-Links subsequently obtained a stay of the arbitration
proceedings and instituted an action against Blue Label, Africa Prepaid
Services (Pty) Ltd (the immediate holding company of APSN) and certain
individuals, including Mr Mthunzi Mdwaba and Mr Thami Msimango for payment of the sums of US$528 million and the sum of US$196 million respectively.
In the action APSN counterclaimed against Telkom and Multi-Links for
payment of the sum of US$457 million.
The Chairman of Telkom, Jabu Mabuza and his Blue Label counterpart, Larry Nestadt, said they were pleased the disputes had been amicably resolved.
– CAJ News
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