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South Africa’s Tigo Ghana to merge operations with Bharti Airtel

Airtel Ghana, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, will merge its operations with Tigo Ghana, a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular SA. Both Bharti Airtel and Millicom have signed an agreement to merge business operations where both companies will have equal ownership and governance rights. The size of the deal was not disclosed.

 The merger deal is, however, subject to obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Ghana and other customary closing conditions. Both companies entered into discussions in January.

 The combined business entity would make up close to 10 million customers, of which 5.6 million are data customers. The company will primarily bet on expanding 3G mobile broadband, with revenues close to $300 million. The merged entity will also provide networking services and mobile financial services to enterprise customers using the combined data centers, and fiber footprint from both companies.

Other Airtel deals

Apart from Tigo, Airtel has deals with other telecom companies in the African continent. Recently in November, the disputed 5% stake held by Africa’s Econet Wireless was finally acquired by Airtel. With this acquisition, Airtel’s controlling stake in Airtel Nigeria increased to 83.25%. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Bharti Airtel originally acquired 65.7% stake Airtel Nigeria after it entered the country by signing a deal with Zain Africa back in 2010.

In Bangladesh, Robi Axiata and Bharti Airtel announced they would merge their operations to create an entity wherein Robi Axiata holds a 68,7% stake, while Airtel holds 25%; the remaining 6.5% stake is owned by Japan’s NTT Docomo. Apart from this, Singapore Telecommunications had signed an agreement in August last year to acquire 7.39% stake (worth $659 million) in Bharti Telecom Limited—the holding company of Bharti Airtel in India.

In India, Airtel announced last month that it has signed an agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments to acquire Telenor India for an undisclosed amount. The deal, which is valued at $350 million will provide Airtel with additional spectrum worth 43.4 MHz, better placing itself to compete with 4G only operator Reliance Jio.

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