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Gov’t signs agreement with AirtelTigo for transfer of ownership

The government and the parent companies of telecommunication company AirtelTigo have concluded negotiations and signed an agreement to transfer the company’s shares to the state.

This follows Bharti Airtel Ghana Holdings B.V. and MIC Africa B.V’s announcement to exit from the Ghanaian market last year.

The government already had a 25% stake in the network and would not become the majority shareholder.

The government announced the takeover in 2020.

This latest agreement transfers all customers, assets and agreed liabilities of AirtelTigo to the Government of Ghana.

“We consider this a positive step as it adds to the growing portfolio of digital infrastructure assets being utilised by the government.

“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,”  Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP) said in a release copied to theghanareport.com.

The minister signed on behalf of the government, 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.

AirtelTigo announces exit

In October 2020, Airtel and Millicom announced that they were exiting the Ghanaian market.

This agreement concluded the extensive negotiations between the parties to ensure a seamless transition and continued operation of AirtelTigo thereafter.

“The telecommunications sector is of strategic importance to the government, and it is critical the sector remains healthy, dynamic, vibrant and most importantly, competitive. We are determined to make Ghana the digital hub of the subregion, and this acquisition is a step in the right direction,” the minister added.

About AirtelTigo

Bharti Airtel in 2017 merged with Millicom’s Tigo in Ghana to become the country’s second-largest mobile operator, AirtelTigo, with the approval of the National Communications Authority (NCA).

AirtelTigo serves around 5.1 million subscribers and offers direct and indirect employment opportunities to almost 10,000 people.

Celtel International acquired 75% of Western Telesystems Ltd (Westel) from the Government of Ghana for $120 million in 2007.

Celtel was subsequently acquired by the Zain Group, which also sold all its African Assets to Bharti Airtel in 2010.

The Government of Ghana remained a shareholder in Airtel Ghana with a 25% holding through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation until the AirtelTigo merger and retained an option to acquire additional shares after the merger.

Westel was at the time of the take over by Celtel, the second national operator in Ghana and was licensed to provide fixed and mobile (GSM) telecommunications services.

Millicom Ghana Limited was the first mobile telecommunications company to operate in the country under the brand name Mobitel before rebranding to become Tigo.

 

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