Bharti Airtel to become number 2 telco in Rwanda with Tigo acquisition

Bharti Airtel's acquisition of Millicom to consolidate telecom market in Rwanda

Bharti Airtel's acquisition of Millicom to consolidate telecom market in Rwanda

Bharti Airtel Limited said it has agreed to acquire 100% of Tigo Rwanda Limited, the local unit of Millicom International Cellular S.A.

The consideration for the transaction is based on approximately 6x EBITDA multiple, payable over two years, the carrier said in a statement on Tuesday. The acquisition will make Airtel Rwanda the second largest operator in the country with revenues of over United States dollars 80 million and a revenue market share of over 40 percent, the company said.

"Bharti Airtel Limited has entered into a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular S.A. (Millicom) under which Airtel Rwanda Limited will acquire 100 percent equity interest in Tigo Rwanda Limited", Bharti Airtel said. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Chairman of Bharti Airtel said, "Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana". According to Airtel, the acquisition would make the company number two operator in Rwanda. Millicom operates under the brand name of Tigo Rwanda.

Tigo is the second largest operator in Rwanda with little over 3 million customers.

"We are confident that Bharti Airtel will build on the strength of Tigo Rwanda and enhance the services provided to customers", he added.

In the agreement, about 370 million customers of Tigo will join the network of Airtel Rwanda.

Currently, Airtel is functional in 15 African countries apart from India and South Asia.

In a similar deal, Airtel had merged with Ghana in October this year where both the operators own 50% each in the new merged entity. "It will create synergies with our existing business and help boost operational efficiencies in the market".

On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position.

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 acquired assets in Uganda (Warid) and Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile) and consolidated operations in Ghana (Millicom).

The customers in these markets today enjoy a wider network, relatively affordable voice and data services, Airtel Money among other things.

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