Bharti Airtel to exit Ghana, government in talks for shares takeover
Ghana and telecoms operators Airtel and Tigo are in advanced stages of discussions for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the government of Ghana, the company said.
Airtel said on Tuesday that it planned to exit the Ghanaian telecoms market.
“Given the multiplier impact the telecommunications sector has on the economy and various related industries, the Government of Ghana has entered into this agreement to ensure that thousands of Ghanaian jobs are safeguarded.
“It is of critical importance that the telecommunications sector remains healthy, dynamic, vibrant, and most importantly, competitive,” the statement from the Communications Ministry reads as quoted by Ghana Web.
Three years ago, Bharti Airtel merged with Millicom’s Tigo in Ghana to become the country’s second largest mobile operator.
The merger, the first of its kind in Ghana, was a bid to increase share in the West African country where mobile phone use is one of the highest in Africa and competition for 37.4 million mobile phone users is fierce.
At the time, AirtelTigo was to serve around 10 million subscribers with revenues close to $300 million.
South Africa’s MTN dominates the Ghanaian market with 47.5 percent of subscribers.
In September this year, MTN sought review from the Supreme Court after a high court dismissed its challenge to a move by the telecommunications regulator aimed at exposing it to greater competition.
This after the National Communications Authority (NCA) designated MTN a significant market power, a move that requires the regulator to take corrective action.