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Bharti Airtel consolidates its position in Africa; acquires Millicom’s Rwanda business

December 19, 2017

Bharti Airtel has signed a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular South Africa, to acquire the latter’s entire stake in Tigo Rwanda.

The acquisition, to be carried out by Airtel Rwanda, is expected to consolidate the country’s telecom market and position Airtel as a strong operator in Rwanda. Post the acquisition, Airtel will become second largest operators in the country in terms of subscribers.

The consideration for the transaction is based on around six times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) multiple, payable over two years.

According to Airtel, it 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. Earlier, Airtel and Tigo had also merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. The latest acquisition is said to benefit 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 strengthening its market position to become a key player in Africa 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).

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.


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