Acquisition will position Airtel as a strong number two operator in Rwanda after MTN
Bharti Airtel has signed a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular S.A., under which its subsidiary Airtel Rwanda will acquire the entire stake in Tigo Rwanda.
The acquisition will consolidate the Rwandan telecom market and position Airtel as a strong number two operator in Rwanda.
Taarifa has confirmed the buyout from sources in Airtel Rwanda saying that “its a done deal,” but did not divulge more details when pressed for figures.
We have also received a press release from Millicom confirming the buyout, but it said, “The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.”
Millicom CEO, Mauricio Ramos, said in the statement that, “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.”
He added that, “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.”
Meanwhile, have established that this deal will earn Airtel 40% of the market share and an generate estimated $80 million in revenues, and a stronger MTN competitor.
The deal has surprised many especially after it had been hinted in the past few weeks that Econet Africa would acquire Tigo Rwanda.
tMeanwhile, an official press release from Airtel, which Taarifa has received, said that, “the transaction is based on about six times EBITDA multiple, payable over two years.”
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel is quoted as saying that “Today, it has taken yet another important step to acquire Tigo Rwanda to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market.”
“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, he said.
“Today, it has taken yet another important step to acquire Tigo Rwanda to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market,” he confirmed.
Meanwhile, the agreement aims to bring together the strengths of Airtel and Millicom in Rwanda and offer benefits to customers in the form of a wider network, affordable voice and data services, and superior customer care.
Existing customers of Tigo Rwanda will join Airtel’s global network, which currently serves over 370 million customers across 17 countries.
Over the years Airtel has been solidifying its market position to become a key player in the continent with in-country acquisitions. In the past, Airtel has acquired assets in Uganda (Warid) and Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile) and consolidated operations in Ghana (Millicom).
Customers in these markets today enjoy a superior and wider network, affordable voice and data services, Airtel Money and better customer care.
With presence across 15 African countries, Airtel is one of the largest telecom service providers across the continent in terms of geographical reach and had close to 83 million customers at the end of quarter ended September 30, 2017.
Globally, Airtel is ranked as the third largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base.