Markets TrendsWest Africa

Airtel finally exits this African country

The government of Ghana has acquired a 100 per cent stake in AirtelTigo and all customers, assets and liabilities.

The announcement was made on Friday after Bharti Airtel (Airtel) and Millicom International Cellular S. A. (Millicom) (through their respective subsidiaries) stated that they have executed the definitive agreement for the transfer of ‘AirtelTigo’ (Airtel Ghana and Millicom Ghana) to the Government of Ghana on a going concern basis.

“Basis the agreement, the transaction will entail a seamless takeover by Government of Ghana post which AirtelTigo would become and operate as a State entity,” the filing said.

It added that “The unsustainable non-controlled JV will be handed over to the GoG, who are committed to reviving the business by making appropriate investments and operating it while safeguarding the interests of the company’s clients, workers, and other stakeholders. The deal is conditional on the mutually agreed-upon terms being met, and Airtel, Millicom, and GoG will work quickly to complete it.”

According to Airtel’s quarterly results ending September 30, 2020, the company’s Ghana operations had a total of 5.1 million customers. Furthermore, the company’s financial statements showed that the company has been losing money. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter dropped to $1.1m from $1.3m in the previous quarter ending June 30. During the same quarter, overall revenue remained unchanged at $15m, and data customers as a percentage of total customers fell to 56.2 per cent from 59.4 per cent in the previous quarter.

The acquired infrastructure will now become part of Ghana’s government, expanding the country’s terrestrial network infrastructure and its ability to offer fully managed, end-to-end communication services for commercial customers.

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