Bharti Airtel gets regulatory nod to acquire operations of Millicom in Rwanda

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said that it has received an approval for the acquisition of Tigo Rwanda, a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).

The merged entity will have the largest customer base in Rwanda with 5.9 million subscribers.

Airtel said that the combined networks of the two companies will serve customers with voice/ data services, global roaming and mobile banking services. It will also have Rwanda’s largest sales and distribution network.

On completion, the acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side and further strengthen Airtel’s market position in Rwanda.

Bharti Airtel reported a profit of $76 million for its Africa unit in the December quarter compared with a loss of $93 million a year earlier, helped by a surge in data traffic and Airtel Money transactions. Airtel’s Africa revenues too have grown 5.3% on-year to $783 million in three months ended December.

Over the years, Bharti Airtel has been bolstering its market position to become a key player in the continent with in-country acquisitions. In the past, it has acquired assets in Uganda (Warid) and Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile) and consolidated operations in Ghana (Millicom).

In a recent interview to ET, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal said that the company would look at consolidation in countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania through mergers, acquisitions or both, even as the overall Africa business was turning a corner.

With a presence in 14 countries across Africa, Airtel is one of the largest telecom service providers on the continent in terms of geographical reach, and had close to 84 million customers at the end of quarter ended December 30, 2017. Globally, Airtel is ranked as the third largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base.



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