Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has announced that it has entered into agreements with Spanish telecoms group Telefonica and its affiliates to acquire the entire share capital of Telefonica Moviles Panama, Telefonica de Costa Rica and Telefonia Celular de Nicaragua for a combined enterprise value of USD1.65 billion in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions – including regulatory approval in each market – and is expected to conclude in H2 2019.
In operational terms, the Panamanian unit is said to be the wireless market leader, with 1.6 million customers and a 4G network covering 74% of the population. The Nicaraguan unit also leads the market with 4.7 million customers and a 4G network covering 51% of the population, while the Costa Rican cellco occupies second place in the local mobile market, with around 2.4 million customers and an LTE network covering 85% of the population.
Mauricio Ramos, CEO of MIC, commented: ‘This significant investment of market leading mobile operations will make our combined businesses even stronger. We are acquiring the number one mobile operator in Panama and in Nicaragua and the number two mobile operator in Costa Rica. As a result, we now have both fixed and mobile in every market we operate in in Latin America. The transaction gives us full in-market scale and the benefits of significant synergies. Furthermore, together with our earlier acquisition of Cable Onda in Panama we are reshaping the industry landscape in Central America, paving the way for a healthy investment environment to help fulfil our purpose of building the digital highways that will connect our people and develop our communities in these countries.’