19 December 2017
| James Pearce
Bharti Airtel has struck a deal with Millicom that will see its Rwandan unit acquire a 100% equity stake in Tigo Rwanda.
The deal is based on approximately 6x EBITDA payable over a
two year period, according to a statement from the two telcos,
and subject to regulatory and statutory approval.
It will make Airtel a strong number two player in the
Rwandan telecoms market, and follows a merger of Airtel and
Tigo’s operations in Ghana.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, said:
"Airtel has taken proactive steps in Africa to consolidate and
realign the market structure in the last few remaining
countries where its operations are lagging on account of lower
market share and presence of too many operators. Airtel and
Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong
viable entity in Ghana."
Mittal recently admitted that Airtel’s moves in
the African market was "a bit rushed" in an interview with
Indian press. It has recently been solidifying its position in
Africa with deals in Uganda, Congo B, and Kenya.
Tigo's 370 million customers will join the network of Airtel
Rwanda. The acquisition will make Airtel Rwanda the second
largest operator in the country with revenues of over $80
million and a revenue market share of over 40%.
Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, commented: "The sale of our
business in Rwanda is in line with our strategy to focus on
providing advanced fixed and mobile data services in Latin
America. We are very grateful to the government of Rwanda for
their support throughout the last eight years, which allowed us
to extend digital inclusion to thousands of Rwandans.
"We are also very grateful to all our employees, whose drive
and commitment enabled Tigo Rwanda to become a leading provider
of digital services in the country. We are confident that
Bharti Airtel will build on the strength of Tigo Rwanda and
enhance the services provided to customers."
Sunil Bharti Mittal,