Airtel mulling Ghana consolidation

22 Aug 2014

Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Ghanaian cellco Airtel, is reportedly mulling an acquisition of Millicom’s local unit Tigo Ghana, thus kick-starting the long-anticipated consolidation in the country’s wireless telecoms market, TMT Finance reports. An unnamed source disclosed: ‘Ghana is ripe for consolidation. It is only a matter of time before we see more action – deals across Africa are bubbling under the surface and there are plenty of opportunities around. The smaller operators – third, fourth, fifth place – are calling it day and selling up.’

Telecoms watchdog the National Communications Authority (NCA) reported that Airtel Ghana is the country’s fourth largest cello with 3.570 million users at end-June 2014, while Tigo signed up 4.035 million by that date. If combined, the two units will have total customer base of more than 7.8 million, thus surpassing second-placed Vodafone (6.678 million users at end-June 2014), and effectively challenging market leader MTN Ghana (13.439 million). Glo Mobile and Expresso rounded up the cellcos, with 1.371 million and 127,505 users at Q2 2014, respectively.

TeleGeography notes that earlier this year Sudatel Telecom Group (STG) revealed it had agreed the sale of shares in its Ghanaian mobile unit Expresso (Kasapa Telecom) during Q2 2014, although the telco stopped short of naming the buyer or the financial terms of the deal.

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