Business News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Starr Business has gathered that France telecom giant, Orange, might soon be the new owner of Tigo Ghana.
According to sources close to the company, talks are far advanced for a takeover soon. It is, however, unclear if Orange will have full ownership of Tigo Ghana or a percentage split will be agreed.
It is believed that a takeover of Millicom Ghana’s Tigo mobile network will be the foundation to push for a merger with Bharti Airtel’s mobile network in Ghana. Airtel, in a statement released Monday, dismissed recent reports that it has commenced plans to exit the West African country.
The report attributed to Bharti Airtel’s Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal was premised on poor performance.
”Airtel Africa’s recent 3rd quarter results were strong. The underlying Africa revenues for the quarter accelerated by 6.0 per cent Y-o-Y, the highest over the last 9 quarters. The organization’s efforts to improve the quality of customer acquisitions have resulted in a reduction in customer churn to 4.9 per cent from 6.0 per cent. Data consumption and revenues have grown by 91.0 per cent & 24.0 per cent Y-o-Y respectively, led by stronger data networks.
The strong focus on cost management has led to a significant underlying EBITDA margin expansion of 4.5 per cent Y-o-Y, which now stands at 24.5 per cent. Africa is now generating positive free cash and is PBT positive in constant currency,” the statement noted.
Orange, in January 2016 announced its 100% acquisition of Airtel Burkina Faso. Airtel was the 2nd largest Telecom Company in the country. Orange announced in July 2016 that together with its Senegal-based partner Sonatel, it acquired 100% of Airtel in Sierra Leone.
Orange’s purported move to acquire Tigo and Airtel, according to telecom watchers, will make it the second largest telecommunication company in Ghana behind MTN.
Tigo Ghana has refused to comment on the acquisition officially.