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Ghana government assumes ownership of AirtelTigo

The Government of Ghana, and Bharti Airtel Ghana Holdings B.V., MIC Africa B.V, have concluded the discussions for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the Ghana government along with all customers, assets, and agreed liabilities.

On the back drop of that, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalization indicated that, “We consider this a positive step as it adds to the growing portfolio of digital infrastructure assets being utilized by the government.”

A statement signed by Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the government “will operate this national asset in the best interest of the nation, the company, telecommunications industry, and ensure the protection of the interests of all employees, customers, contractors, suppliers, stakeholders and sustain the digital transformation of Ghana.”

The Minister signed on behalf of the government of Ghana, while Ms. Jatina Catharina Uneken-van de Vreede, Mr. Martin P Frechette, Mr. Timothy Pennington, Mr. Eric Nana Nipah, and Mr. Vish Ashiagbor signed on behalf of the seller entities.

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In October 2020, Bharti Airtel Ltd sold 100% shares of its business to the government of Ghana.

“The parties are in advance stages of discussions for the conclusion of the commercial agreement for the transfer of AirtelTigo on a going concern basis to the Government of Ghana,” Airtel said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

The proposed deal would result in the government of Ghana acquiring 100% shares of Airtel Ghana Ltd, also known as AirtelTigo, along with all its customers, assets, and agreed liabilities.

“Accordingly, Airtel is voluntarily taking an impairment charge of Rs 1,841 million (Rs 184 crore),” the statement added.

AirtelTigo is a joint venture between ‘Airtel’ and ‘Millicom’ wherein Airtel holds a non-controlling 49.95% share in AirtelTigo.

Airtel had merged its Ghana operations with Millicom in 2017, resulting in the second-largest mobile carrier in the country.

The merger was approved by the regulator subject to the condition Ghana government will have the option to pick up a stake in the new entity in the future.

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But the joint venture has fallen behind MTN and Vodacom in the country. Airtel has previously said that it will look at consolidation opportunities, including exit, in markets where it is not among the top two players.

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