Denis O’Brien (born 19 April 1958) is an Irish multi-billionaire and Communicorp ‘s founder and owner. In 2015 he was among the top 200 billionaires in the world and also the wealthiest native citizen of Ireland.
O’Brien also included aviation rental (Aergo Capital), utility support (Actavo), petroleum (Topaz Oil, until 2016), and football ( soccer)
Which he retained as a minority shareholder in Celtic F.C .. O’Brien had an insufficient effect on the Moriarty Tribunal’s decision to grant the Esat Digifone consortium, which it led.
Early life of Denis O’Brien
O’Brien was born in Cork City and grew up in Dublin’s Ballsbridge district. His father was a veterinarian salesman and he always accompanied his dad on business trips, where he learned how to “sell and present.” He attended High School in Rathgar and while his potential for rugby was stopped due to disciplinary issues, he was called back so he could play in a school championship.
He studied philosophy, history and logic and graduated in 1977 from the University College Dublin. In 1982 he graduated with an MBA in Corporate Finance from Boston College while attending UCD. After returning to Dublin, he worked at a local bank as an assistant manager, but he resigned and became a personal assistant to Tony Ryan, the owner of an aircraft rental business.
O’Brien has been in information technology and mass media sectors for the most part of his career. He was also a part owner of energy firms, aerospace companies and manufacturing services.
O’Brien is the director of Communicorp, a European media holding firm. It began its business in Ireland in 1989 with independent radio stations, such as the Newstalk and Today FM, which spread to markets in Eastern European countries and later sold some of its stations to local operators. In 2014, Communicorp expanded into the UK and bought eight radio stations nationwide; in 2017, Communicorp transferred its UK radio stations to a new independent corporation, Communicorp UK, 98 per cent of which were owned by O’Brien.
Telecom Esat and Digifone Esat
In 1991, in rivalry with the state-owned Telecom Eireann, O’Brien set up a telecommunications consortium known as Esat Telecom. Esat founded Esat Digifone in collaboration with Telenor, Norwegian state telecom operator, which successfully applied for the second GSM mobile licence in Ireland. Circumstances surrounding Esat Digifone’s licencing became the focus of the Moriarty Tribunal.
The first public bid was conducted by Esat Telecom Group plc on 7 November 1997 and coded in the Irish Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 2000, Telenor bid the company for ownership, but O’Brien sold it to BT, which was reportedly €250 million out of revenue.
Capital of Aergo
In 1999, O’Brien co-founded Aergo Capital aircraft rental company, of which he held an 80 % stake. From its establishment until 2014, Aergo has traded more than 150 aircraft worth over €791 million (around $1 billion) grossly. O’Brien and his partner, Fred Browne, sold the company in October 2014 to the United States investment company CarVal; Browne remained the new company’s chief executive officer.
Independent Media and Reporting
O’Brien started buying shares of Independent News & Media (INM) in the late 2000s, and subsequently spent € 500 million to collect 29.9 percent of its shareholdings. O’Brien confronted the management board, particularly former owner Tony O’Reilly, who retired as CEO in 2009 and sold much of his INM shares in 2014. The second largest shareholder at the time, O’Brien and Dermont Desmond, sold their shares to the Belgian media company Mediahuis in April 2019; O’Brien earned €43,5 m as part of the contract.
While he never had a majority interest in INM, O’Brien was frequently accused of controlling the company significantly. In 2014, it was reported that Stephen Rae, a group editor at INM, ordered amendments to a column containing a reference to O’Brien from Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris. In 2015, Paul Meagher, an O’Brien lawyer, allegedly applied in 2012 to INM Attorney Simon McAleese in order to block an environmental affairs affair, Phil Hogan.
In March 2018, the Office of the Director of Corporate Compliance (ODCE) in Ireland appointed independent news and media inspectors to investigate an alleged data infringement in the High Court of Ireland. According to an affidavit submitted by the ODCE, Blaydon Limited discharged invoices for data interrogation.
Independent News & Media was sold to the Belgian Mediahuis group in June 2019, and de-listed from Euronext Dublin, thus ending the group participation of O’Briens. It has been estimated that he has lost over €450 m of his INM investment in total.
The digital dialect
In 2001, O’Brien founded the Caribbean, South America and Asia Pacific telecommunications business Digicel. O’Brien used Digicel to create a wireless network in Jamaica with cash from his sale of Esat Telecom. Digicel extended into the South Pacific in the same year. Digicel worked in 31 countries as of 2019.
O’Brien has founded the Digicel Foundation along with Digicel, which has been partnering with local groups to improve community programmes, establish schools and health facilities, and encourage recovery. Following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, O’Brien promised € 3.5 million to fund recovery efforts. In 2012 , President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded the Order of Honor and Merit of O’Brien for his investments, achievements, and promotion to the region, and in 2015 O’Brien was awarded honorary membership for his service of the telecommunications industry in the country to the Order of Jamaica.
Digicel was involved in a big court struggle during the 2000s against the Jamaican Office of Utilities Control (OUR). The issue originally arose following Phillip Paulwell, the then Minister of Business , Trade and Technology of Jamaica, who instructed OUR to avoid intervening in Digicel’s pricing policies after DIGICEL had instructed itself to amend its interconnectivity charges.
Though Paulwell was ruled unconscious of having the power to give the instruction OUR, Digicel appealed the ruling without success at the Supreme Court of Jamaica, which overturning the ruling but was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal following a counter-appeal by OUR and at the Privy Council of Jamaica.
In January 2014 the telecommunications correspondent of the Financial Times wrote about O’Brien’s aim of extending Digicel to include mobile and fixed-line networks for the next generation, with O’Brien quoted as being inspired by the possibility of ‘a shift in world order.’
In 2012 O’Brien acquired IBRC for €45 million from Siteserv, a provider of utilities; in 2015, it was renamed Actavo. Actavo was purchased and managed on the Isle of Man by the O’Brien business Millington.
In 2016, Actavo expanded to the United States by purchasing a structural engineering company, Atlantic Engineering Services. Actavo has assisted in the construction of Digicel’s fibre networks in the Caribbean.
In December 2013, O’Brien acquired the Irish Bank Resolution Company € 300 million in debt owed by Topaz Oil. In December 2014, Kendrick Investments, Topaz ‘s parent company , announced it will buy all of Esso ‘s Irish operations.
Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian convenience store, announced in December 2015 that it was preparing to purchase Topaz. The sales were concluded in February 2016; Topaz employed over 2000 people and at the time of sale almost 35 percent of Ireland’s consumer market.
Career economic and financial
O’Brien, along with Bill Gates and George Soros, participated in the winter meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
O’Brien was appointed Director of the Bank of Ireland in 2000 and Deputy Governor of the Bank in September 2005. In September 2006 he resigned as deputy governor as well as as a member of the court of the bank (board). O’Brien is said to have resigned because of increased demands in connexion with his foreign business interests.
Between 2008 and 2016 O’Brien given up to € 12 million for paying salary of senior officials in the organisation, including Giovanni Trapattoni, to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). O’Brien has been named Honorary Life Chairman of the Ireland Football Association (FAI) in 2018.
In 2006, O’Brien bought a 2.82% stake in Celtic F.C, based in Glasgow. Martin O’Neill, former boss. O’Brien officially increased its stake to 13 percent by June 2018.
O’Brien acquired Planal SA in 1998, the holding company for the golf resort Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
O’Brien sponsored the 2003 World Summer Special Olympics Games, which he served as Chairman of the Organizing Committee and later as Chair of the Patrons Board.
O’Brien is a director of Concern Worldwide, a humanitarian relief agency, on the United States Board.
O’Brien worked in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, O’Brien worked on reconstructing the Iron Market in Port-au – Prince along with the CGI Haïti Action Network and Digicel Haiti Foundation. O’Brien was elected Mayor Jean Yves Jason in 2010 Ambassador of Goodwill for the City of Port-au – Prince, Haiti who cited O’Brien’s disaster recovery assistance after the earthquake.
In 2012, O’Brien was awarded a Clinton Global Citizen Award by the former United States. President Bill Clinton, largely because of his contributions in disaster relief in Haiti. In the 18 months following the earthquake, he also contributed to the development of 50 primary and secondary schools. In September 2016, Republican President Donald Trump then sent an e-mail to condemn the relationship between Hillary Clinton and O’Brien, on which O’Brien refused to comment.
O’Brien was a Trilateral Commission member. O’Brien contributed €2.500 to the Irish presidential election campaign of independent candidate Mary Davis in 2011.
Relationship with the media
In 2012, O’Brien reportedly threatened Vincent Browne’s journalist and broadcaster for comments that O’Brien claimed were defamatory in Browne’s papers. The Sunday Independent dismissed the lawsuit as a “fear of financial disaster.”
In February 2013, O’Brien sued the Irish Daily Mail for defamation of his various storeys in RTÉ about relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti. O’Brien won €150,000 from the court. The case was the first time since the defamation law in 2009 was enforced, a journalist had sought to use truthful opinion advocacy before a jury at the High Court.
In August 2015, Colm Williamson, the editor-in – chief of the satirical Waterford Whispers News website, received instructions from O’Brien to delete a satirical article about O’Brien. Lawyers for O’Brien have requested that Broadsheet.ie reproduce the article.
In 2019, O’Brien launched a campaign to defame the Sunday Business Post about the articles written in the March 2015 newspaper. The reports, which reported on a confidential Price WaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study to the Government on the disclosure of Ireland’s banks in 2008 in November 2008, listed O’Brien as one of Ireland’s 22 largest creditors in 2008.
O’Brien argued that the articles defamed him and hurt him and also alleged that the publishing was malicious. In the defendant’s favour, the jury ruled the case dismissed with a cost order against O’Brien.
O’Brien married Catherine Walsh in August 1997, who helped Communicorp develop into the Czech Republic and who used to be the marketing manager for independent radio sales. The couple ‘s got four kids.
O’Brien set up the Iris O’Brien Foundation in June 2000, named after his wife, through which he co-ordinates much of his philanthropic activities. UCD awarded an honorary doctorate to O’Brien in 2006.
Wealth and residences
Forbes predicts O’Brien ‘s fortune at around $3.2 billion by February 2020.
Some time after his purchase of Quinta do Lago in 1998, O’Brien sold his house in Dublin before the sale of Esat Telecom to BT in 2000 and established a primary residence in Portugal. Media reports have indicated that the move was instigated by an established capital gain tax exemption in the Irish-Portuguese tax treaty, which supposedly saved O’Brien approximately 63 million euros in tax.
During the flotation of Digicel on the New York Stock Exchange, O’Brien ‘s residential address was listed on a March 2006 filing to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) as Sliema, Malta. While O’Brien kept quiet about his change of address, the media reported that the lack of property or income taxation on the Mediterranean island was the main reason.
John Kluge Networth
John Kluge, The German-American merchant (September 21, 1914 – September 8, 2010) became a billionaire in the US television industry. He was once the wealthiest individual in the United States.
The early life of John Kluge
John Kluge was born to a Presbyterian family in Chemnitz, Germany, and emigrated to the United States in 1922. He received his B.A. The University of Columbia graduated in economics in 1937. Kluge attended Wayne State University for two years before attending Columbia University. His ancestry was Scottish-Irish, English, and German.
John Kluge served in underground P.O. during World War II. Box 1142 External Interrogation Center, D.C.
Metromedia and Metromedia Company
In the mid-1950s John Kluge’s main move into the media was to buy stocks in the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation. The Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation succeeded the DuMont Television Network that, when the television network came to an end in 1956, was spun off from the DuMont Laboratories.
Metropolitan Broadcasting consisted of two stations, WABD in New York City and WTTG in Washington, D.C., which now operates as independent stations, both former DuMont outlets. As its Board Chairman and largest shareholder, John Kluge joined the company in 1958, acquiring the bulk of its shares by Founder Allen B. DuMont for approximately USD 6 million.
After gaining control in 1959, John Kluge started to expand into broadcasting with TV and radio holdings. In the early ’60s, Kluge acquired an outdoor advertising company and, in 1961, Metromedia was renamed to reflect its diversity.
In 1986, John Kluge sold 20th Century Fox (then ruled by the News Corporation) the Metromedia television stations, at $4 billion. Later on, these stations would form the core of Fox’s television network (spun off from News Corporation/20th Century Fox with Fox Corporation decades later). Forbes ranked Kluge as the richest man in America the following year.
The management of Metromedia under orders from Kluge destroyed the videotapes in retaliation for a prosecution brought against Paul Winchell, who sought rights to his children’s television program, “Winchell-Mahoney Time.” Later, Winchell was awarded almost $18 million to compensate for the capricious behavior of Metromedia.
Following the disposal of Fox, the activities of Kluge have been carried out by a private company called Metromedia Corporation with Stuart Subotnick as a partner. Metromedia’s most recent activities include East European, the Commonwealth of the Independent States, and China telecom/cable/radio ventures, via the Metromedia Group and Metromedia Fiber Network, a fateful US telecommunications backbone operation.
In July 2008, the Metromedia Restaurant Group, which belongs to the Metromedia Company, closed more than 300 restaurants in Bennigan, Steak, and Ale. The original team operators of the New York / New Jersey MetroStars Major League Soccer franchise were also Kluge and partner Stuart Subotnick.
John W. Kluge Center
To mark its 200th anniversary, John Kluge donated an incredible $60 million to create the John W. Kluge Center at the Congress Library. It was designed as an academic center where active senior scholars and post-doctoral fellows may gather to utilize the incomparable collections of the library and engage with members of the US Congress. Besides, his donation will be awarded a $1 million reward, equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Literature and Economics, for the achievement of life in the Humanities. The Kluge Award will reward the academic success of life in the same way that the Kennedy center awards recognize the performing arts of a lifetime.
University of Columbia
Kluge gave Columbia University over $510 million. Kluge donated over $110 million to Columbia University between 1987 and 1993, acknowledging the scholarship funds he was able to attend, mainly to offer financial assistance to undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. His donations also allow many of these students to pursue their doctoral studies after they graduate through funding.
On April 11, 2007, Lee C. Bollinger, Chairman of Columbia University, announced a donation from Kluge of 400 million dollars to the University upon the donor’s death. This donation is the fourth largest contribution to a higher education organization in the United States, all for financial support. This is the biggest commitment ever to assist students solely of any individual higher education institution in the United States.
In December 1997 John Kluge donated to the University of Virginia his world-class collection of autochthonous Australian paintings. This donation led the University of Virginia to create the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, the first museum in the U.S. to study and present Aboriginal Australian art and culture.
In 2001, Kluge donated his 7,378 acres (29.86 km) estate to the University of Virginia in Albemarle County, Virginia. The land, worth over $45 million, was the largest donation in the history of the University. UVa held workshops and seminars in different buildings and on the Morven Farm to ensure that land grants are included in their different courses. Many developments are underway to enhance the farm and make it part of Charlottesville’s landscape.
In 2009 he contributed $3 million to the University to promote compassion at the end of life.
Kluge was a collector and owner of works by famous artists, including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.
Kluge was awarded the Golden Plate Award in 1983 by the American Academy of Arts.
Four times, Kluge was married. Theodora Thomson Townsend, his first wife, Yolanda Galardo Zucco, Patricia Maureen Rose, and Maria Tussi Kuttner, was his second. In the 1990 divorce settlement, Patricia Kluge retained her estate in Albemarle, which was converted into award-winning viticulture and winery that opened in 1999.
She borrowed 65 million dollars in loans and mortgaged the mansion to fund the expansion of production and a related real-estate company. Kluge had three daughters, Joseph, whom he accepted, Samantha, Zucco, Jr, and Rose, Jr. It also had two steps, Diane and Jeanette Brophy, and Peter Lockwood Townsend, who remained a part of his life until his death. He lived with his fourth partner, Maria Tussi Kluge, at his death in 2010, in New Rochelle, New York, Virginia, and Palm Beach, Florida.
Mo Ibrahim Networth
Mo Ibrahim, full-time Mohammed Ibrahim (b. 1946, Sudan), Sudan-born British entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded one of Africa’s largest cellular telephony companies and established the Ibrahim multi-million – dollar Africa Leadership Achievement Award.
Ibrahim, the clerk’s uncle, grew up in Sudan. He moved to Egypt with his family to obtain an engineering degree from the University of Alexandria.
He went back to Sudan to work as an engineer for Sudan Telecom, the state-owned telecommunications company.
He moved to England in 1974 where he graduated from Bradford University in Electronics and Electrical Engineering and from Birmingham University in motive communications, where he also taught.
The Sudanese-British milliardaire businessman is Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim, born on 3 May 1946 and born on 3 May 1946. It worked for many telecom companies before forming Celtel, which sold in 14 African countries had more than 24 million mobile subscribers.
After selling Celtel for 3,4 billion dollars in 2005, he founded the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to promote better governance in Africa and develop a Mo Ibrahim Index to assess the output of nations. He is also a member of the London Business School Regional Advisory Board for Africa.
In 2007, he introduced the Mo Ibrahim Award for African Leadership, awards $5 million for the initial payment and an annual life payment of $200,000 to African Heads of State providing their constituents with stability, health, education, and economic development, and democratically transferring power to the next generation. Ibrahim vowed to give charity at least half his wealth by entering The Donation Pledge.
According to the Billionaire List of Forbes 2011, Mo Ibrahim is worth $1.8 billion, making it the world’s 692nd richest individual. Mo Ibrahim was also chosen for the Period “Top 100” ranking in 2008, ranking first in the prominent Black Britons’ annual Powerlist.
He was born on 3 May 1946, of Nubian descent in north Sudan, the second of five children, four children being boys. When he was young, his family moved to Alexandria, Egypt, and Fathi Father was employed by a cotton company, and Aida’s mother was very eager to get a good education for all.
Ibrahim received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Alexandria University. He returned to Sudan and began working for Sudan Telecom, the telecommunications company. He moved to England and received a master’s degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bradford and a Ph.D. in Mobile Communications from the University of Birmingham.
In 2007 Ibrahim received an honorary Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
In 2008, Ibrahim ranked first on the annual power list of the most powerful Black Britons, and is claimed to be the “most stronger Blackman in Britain.”
Ibrahim was for a time employed by British Telecom and was later appointed technical director of the British Telecom subsidiary Cellnet.
Ibrahim taught telecommunications undergraduate courses at Thames Polytechnic in the early 1980s, which later became Greenwich University.
In 1989 he founded MSI, a software and consulting business that was purchased by the Marconi Business in 2000. The company initially helped the wireless industry to establish its networks before mobile phones were pushed into the late 1990s. MSI hired 800 people, who had about 30% of its stock at the point of sale; Ibrahim says that he gave the workers stock as a bonus.
In 1998, MSI split into Africa MSI-Cellular Investments, later called Celtel.
After many years, when Celtel needed a long-term capital source, they thought about an IPO on a reputable stock exchange, such as the London Stock Exchange. When it became public that they considered a public bid, they were given several alternatives. Many of them wanted to purchase the business, and Ibrahim and his team agreed to sell Celtel to the mobile telecommunication company (now Zain) based in Kuwait in 2004.
Since 2010, Ibrahim has given funding to the Digital Development Broadband Committee, an effort by the UN to disseminate the full benefits of broadband networks to unconnected communities.
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Ibrahim founded the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in London in 2006. The Foundation launched in 2007 the Mo Ibrahim Award for African Leadership, with former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique as its first recipient.
It publishes the Ibrahim African Governance Index, which rates all 54 African countries. Until 2009, the index only took account of the 48 Sub-Saharan African nations.
The Foundation runs bursary services at Birmingham University, SOAS, and the London Business School. These bursaries deal with International Development at the University of Birmingham, African Development Governance at SOAS, and an MBA at the London Business School. The bursaries are opened to African candidates, Master’s, and postgraduates alike.
In 1973, Ibrahim married Hania Morsi Fadl, a graduate of Alexandria University, who he has known since his childhood. They are now divorced and Fadli is a Sudanese British radiologist who runs Sudan’s only breast cancer clinic.
There is a daughter, Hadeel Ibrahim, executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, vice president, Clinton Foundation board member, and two sons Hosh and Sami Ibrahim.
Ibrahim is living in the UK.
Sunil Mittal Networth
Sunil Mittal was born on 23 October 1957. He is an Indian milliardaire businessman, philanthropist, founder, and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, who, in addition to other enterprises, has diverse interests in telecommunications, insurance, real estate, education and food.
Bharti Airtel, a leading group firm, is one of the world’s largest and Indian second-largest telecommunications firms with over 399 million customers in 18 countries across Asia and Africa.
In FY2016, Bharti Airtel reported revenues of more than US$ 14.75 billion. Forbes is the 6th richest person in India and has a net income of 11.6 billion dollars.
In 2007, he was awarded the third-highest civil honour of India, Padma Bhushan. He was elected Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce on 15 June 2016.
The early life of Sunil Mittal
Born in a Baniya household, Sunil Mittal was born. His father was a parliamentary member, Rajya Sabha (Indian National Congress) from Ludhiana, Punjab. He was elected for two terms (1976 & 1982) from Punjab and nominated once (1988) to the Rajya Sabha.
He entered Mussoorie’s Wynberg Allen School for the first time, then attended Gwalior’s Scindia School and, in 1976, graduated from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Arya, Ludhiana. In 1992, his father died of heart arrest.
Sunil Mittal, a first-generation entrepreneur, opened his first company in April 1976 at the age of 18, borrowed from his father, investment capital of €20,000 (US$ 280). He first produced crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers.
He started an import enterprise called Bharti Overseas Trading Company in 1980, along with his brothers Rakesh Mittal and Rajan Mittal. He sold his parts for bicycles and yarn and moved to Mumbai. In 1981, he bought import licences from Punjab exporting firms. He then imported thousands of portable electricity generators from Suzuki Motors from Japan. The then Indian Government abruptly banned the import of generators.
In 1984 he started manufacturing push-button phones in India, formerly imported from a Taiwanese firm, Singtel, replacing the then-used, voluminous, old-fashioned, rotular telephones. Bharti Telecom Limited (BTL) has been integrated with and entered into a technical relation for the manufacture of push-button telephones with Siemens AG of Germany.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Sunil was producing fax machines, cables and other telecommunications devices. Sunil says, “In 1983 the government put an exit ban on importing gensets. I was out of business instantly and everything I had done stopped. I was in trouble. The question then was, what was I to do next? Then the time came for a call. I saw the success of the push-button phone when I was in Taiwan – which India had not seen at that time. He called ‘Mitbrau’ his first push-button phones.
In 1992 he successfully offered one of India’s four mobile network licences. The Delhi cellular licence requires that the consumer has some experience as a telecommunications operator. Mittal reached an agreement with the French telecommunications company Vivendi. He was one of the first Indian entrepreneurs to recognise the mobile telecom market as a significant area of development.
His plans were finally approved in 1994 by the government and in 1995, in Delhi, he launched services by Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL), which in 1997 was established with entrepreneur Leena Jaitley to provide cellular service under the AirTel brand name. In just a few years, Bharti became the first telecommunications firm to reach the mobile subscriber mark of 2 million. In India, Bharti also reduced cellular STD / ISD rates under the brand name ‘India one.’
The prospect of acquiring MTN Group, a South African telecommunications firm with coverage in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East was discussed in May 2008 by Sunil Bharti Mittal. The Financial Times announced that Bharti plans to offer a total share of US$ 45 billion in MTN, which is the largest acquisition ever made by an Indian company in the world.
But the cautious existence of the talks is stressed on both sides, although The Economist magazine states that “if anything, Bharti will marry up,” with MTN getting more subscribers, higher sales and greater regional reach. The discussions, however, failed as the MTN group attempted to undo the talks by making Bharti a new company subsidiary. Bharti Airtel again reported in May 2009 that the proposed deal was addressed exclusively by MTN and companies decided to do so by 31 July 2009. Talks ended without agreement, with reports claiming that it was the South African Government’s opposition.
In June 2010, Bharti, led by Mittal, purchased Zain Telecom’s African business at $10.7 billion (business value), making it the largest acquisition ever by an Indian telecommunications company. Bharti joined Wal-Mart, the American retail giant, in 2012 to open a range of retail stores in India. Bharti plans to buy Loop Mobile for INR 7 billion in 2014, but the deal was stopped later. The CEO and founder of Hike Messenger is his son Kavin Bharti Mittal.
As a Manager of Merrill Lynch in New York and Ernst & Young in London, Mittal’s son, Shravan Mittal, joined Bharti Airtel as of September 2010.
In 2012, Sunil Mittal brought the initial IPO of Bharti Infratel to the public, raising $760 million. Mittal said that sales, which many consider being only a moderate achievement, were “strongly funded by professional investors.” The Board was restructured before the IPO and Mittal remained President and Managing Director. After the IPO, Bharti Infratel’s shares fell sharply at the beginning of trading.
In 2013, Sunil Mittal was ordered to appear before a special court in Delhi to address questions concerning the additional airwaves for some businesses. Mittal claims are that there was coordination with the government’s main telecoms officials to secure an additional spectrum illegally. No charges have been brought against Mittal, but the judge of the trial court has found there is ample record of the proceedings.
By the end of 2013, Sunil Mittal revealed that it was acquiring Warid Congo, making Bharti Airtel the Republic of Congo’s largest telecoms provider.
In 2015, Sunil Mittal revealed that he will join the board of the Online Space Company OneWeb. Mittal was a participant in the $500 million Coca-Cola, Virgin and Qualcomm investment round.
In 2016, Sunil Mittal made changes at Bharti Airtel to allow the company to succeed in the race to become India’s largest telecoms company against the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
In 2017, Sunil Mittal declared an “attack on roaming” by dismantling calls in India and international roaming charges.
Awards and recognition
Padma Bhushan, Indian Government, 2007
NDTV Market Leader Awards Transforming India Leader
Award of the Founder of the GSM Association, 2008
Asia Annual Businessman, Fortune Magazine, 2006
Telecom Person of the Year, Magazine for Voice & Data (India) 2006
2006 CEO of the Year, ICT Awards for Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific
2005–06, Industry Standard CEO of the year
Telecom Asia Awards, Best Asian Telecom CEO, 2005
Best C.E.O, India, Investor, 2005
Economic Times, Company Leader of the Year, 2005
Asian Awards Philanthropist of the Year Award, 2010
Company Leader Award INSEAD, 2011.
Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Honoris Causa Degree, Amity University Gurgaon, 2016.
Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Honoris Causa, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, J&K, 2018.
ESCP Business School, ESCP Europe, Paris. Doctor Honoris Causa, 2018.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Global Mobile Industry Chairman of the GSMA Board for his work on the Global Mobile Industry, 2019
Sunil Mittal also worked to educate India through the Bharti Foundation, Bharti’s philanthropic arm. The Foundation has established schools in villages across India and provides free quality education for poor children with free books, uniform and midday meals.
Satya Bharti School Program – 254 schools in six countries serve 45,000 rural children at no cost to the Foundation’s flagship programme. More than 350,000 underprivileged children in the 11 states are currently being reached through other educational initiatives such as the Satya Bharti Academy, the Quality Service and the Learning Centre programmes. The Foundation’s other initiative has a huge effect on the underprivileged parts, ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan.’
In 2017, the Bharti Family dedicated 10 per cent (approx Rs 70 billion) of wealth to Philanthropy to create the world-class university of Satya Bharti, which would give education to young people in economically weaker sections of society.