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Millicom, Airtel Unite in New Operation

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chike onwuegbuchi

Millicom International Cellular S.A. (Millicom) and Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) have announced an agreement for Tigo Ghana Limited and Airtel Ghana Limited to combine their operations in Ghana.

As per the agreement, Millicom and Airtel would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity.

In a statement, the companies say the combined business would serve nearly 10 million customers, of which 5.6 million are data customers.

It would cover more than 80% of Ghana's population with high-speed data, 3G coverage and would have revenues of approximately US$300m.

The transaction is subject to obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Ghana and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, according to the statement.

According to the statement by integrating the two networks, local customers will benefit from a boost to rural and urban network coverage.

"With the combined fibre footprint and increased data centres, enterprise customers including both, large corporations and SMEs, would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions. Mobile Financial Services is also expected to be greatly enhanced with combined agent networks and platforms," the companies explain.

Mohamed Dabbour, Executive Vice President, Millicom Africa, said: "In a highly fragmented telecom market, this deal represents a major milestone for our business in Ghana. The combination of Tigo and Airtel will create an operator that will be able to offer Ghanaian consumers and businesses a state of the art network with high-speed mobile data coverage. This transaction underlines confidence in the Ghanaian economy, and provides the opportunity to develop nationwide digital infrastructure and services in Ghana."

Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa, said: "The agreement highlights our commitment to the Ghana market and our customers. The coming together of the two entities will benefit customers, who can now enjoy an extensive combined network and a wider range of affordable and innovative products and services. It will further strengthen our position in the market and offer huge benefits arising out of synergies in operations, resulting in a better experience for the customers."

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