M-money company Wari buys Millicom Senegal for $129m
07 February 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Senegalese mobile money company Wari is to buy Millicom’s Tigo mobile business in the country for $129 million.
The transaction, which will need regulatory approval, comes only nine months after Millicom was rumoured to be about to sell the operation to Orange.
Wari is “a leading platform for digital financial services in Africa”, said a statement by the companies. Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, said: “We are grateful to all of our employees, whose drive and commitment has enabled Tigo Senegal to become such a strong and sustainable business, and are confident that Wari Group will build on the current strength of Tigo Senegal.”
There is no indication whether Wari will continue to use the Tigo brand, which Millicom uses in its African and Latin American businesses.
Kabirou Mbodje, CEO of Wari, said: “The acquisition of Tigo illustrates how an international group such as Wari, born in Africa, is proud to be at the forefront of driving the shift towards an ecosystem that provides social added value and tailored for Senegalese and African customers’ needs.”
Wari describes itself as an international cash-to-cash funds transfer service with the aim to meet basic financial services in a cash-based economy. It offers 14 types of services and operates in 25 countries, and can be accessed in Europe, Asia, America and Africa.
Mbodje said: “By pooling the advantages of mobile telephony offered by Tigo and the world of benefits provided by Wari, a leading platform for digital financial services, we combine the expertise, energies and ambitions of our teams and our two groups in order to offer more convenient and affordable services to users.”
Ramos added: “With the support of the people of Senegal we have been able to empower millions of customers with mobile technology, and to help promote social and financial inclusion across the country.”
It is the latest in a number of disposals and rumours of disposals by Millicom in Africa. Orange completed the $160 million acquisition of Tigo in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016. Last month there were rumours that Millicom was considering a merger with Bharti Airtel’s business in Ghana.