Vodafone has confirmed that it has agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Ghana Telecom from the Government of Ghana for USD900 million on a debt-free, cash-free basis. The deal implies a total enterprise value for Ghana Telecom of approximately USD1.3 billion; the state will retain a 30% stake in the company. Commenting on the transaction, Arun Sarin, Chief Executive of Vodafone, said ‘Ghana is one of the most attractive markets in Africa with mobile subscribers growing at more than 55% per annum and mobile penetration around 35%. Our extensive operating experience together with our portfolio of products and services position us well to deliver a superior mobile experience to Ghanaian customers and significantly improve financial performance. I expect that our investment will generate substantial benefits for Vodafone and for the Ghanaian economy and we are delighted that we will be working in partnership with the Government of Ghana.’
Ghana Telecom operates the country’s third-largest mobile network, with 1.4 million customers and a 17% market share at the end of March 2008. The company is also the incumbent fixed line operator with almost 375,000 lines in service. Ghana Telecom posted 2007 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of USD42 million on sales of USD290 million, Vodafone said. Over the next five years Vodafone expects Ghana Telecom to invest over USD500 million in its operations and network, restoring and expanding network coverage and completing and integrating the fibre backbone.