Ghana Government To Buy 100% In AirtelTigo


The Ghana government will acquire 100% in AirtelTigo, Bharti Airtel’s ailing joint venture with Millicom International Cellular SA in the African country, along with customers, assets and liabilities.

“The Government of Ghana, Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular, through their respective subsidiaries, today announced they have executed the definitive agreement for the transfer of AirtelTigo to the Ghana government on a going concern basis,” Bharti Airtel said in an official statement Friday.

It added that under “the proposed agreement, the Government of Ghana would acquire 10 per cent shares of AirtelTigo along with all customers, assets and liabilities.

Airtel said that the transaction would entail “a seamless takeover by the Ghana government, post which, AirtelTigo would become and operate as a state entity”.

Airtel shares closed 0.25 per cent higher at Rs 540.55 (US$7.25) on BSE Friday. The deal was announced after market hours.

Last October, the Airtel board had cleared the sale of its Ghana joint venture to the government of that African country, and had reportedly taken an impairment charge of Rs 184.1 crore for the transaction.

On Friday, Airtel said it has “already written off its investment and provided for in the prior accounts,” which is why, “no further provisions of any material nature are envisaged”.

Bharti Airtel had merged its Ghana operations with Millicom back in 2017. The merger was then approved by the local regulator subject to the condition that the African country’s government would have the option to buy a stake in the new entity in future.

But the joint venture fell behind MTN and Vodacom in Ghana. Airtel had previously said it would look at consolidation opportunities, including an exit, in markets where it is not among the top two players.

Airtel said the “unsustainable non-controlled JV will be handed to the Ghana government,” who are committed to reviving the company, making suitable investments and operating it while protecting the interests of customers, employees and all other stakeholders.

It said the transaction is subject to closing of the mutually agreed conditions and Airtel, Millicom along with the Ghana government would expeditiously complete the closing.

Airtel had a non-controlling 49.95 per cent stake in AirtelTigo, while the balance 50.05 per cent was held by Millicom.

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