Ghana merger of Millicom and Airtel goes ahead

Ghana merger of Millicom and Airtel goes ahead

Millicom and Bharti Airtel have completed the merger of their Ghana mobile operations, seven months after they announced the deal.

The two struck an agreement in March to merge their subsidiaries in Ghana in a 50-50 joint venture. The deal sees Tigo Ghana – Millicom’s brand – merge with Airtel Ghana, becoming the country’s second biggest operator, serving nearly 10 million customers with revenues close to $300 million.

The combined unit will have around 5.6 million data customers, and offer 3G connectivity to around 80% of Ghana’s population, giving it the widest 3G reach across the country, according to a joint statement.

Mohamed Dabbour, the CEO of Millicom Africa, said in March: “In a highly fragmented telecoms market, this deal represents a major milestone for our business in Ghana. The combination of Tigo and Airtel will create an operator that will be able to offer Ghanaian consumers and businesses a state of the art network with high speed mobile data coverage.”

The joint venture, which has not so far been named, will compete with South African-owned MTN. Airtel is an Indian group while Millicom is European, mainly owned by Swedish shareholders.

Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa, said in March: “The agreement highlights our commitment to the Ghana market and our customers. The coming together of the two entities will benefit customers, who can now enjoy an extensive combined network and a wider range of affordable and innovative products and services. It will further strengthen our position in the market and offer huge benefits arising out of synergies in operations, resulting in better experience for the customers.”

Millicom later announced that Tigo managing director Roshi Motman was in line to become the head of the combined operation. The future of Lucy Quist, who joined Airtel Ghana from Vodafone Ghana in 2014, is unclear.

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