Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular S.A on Friday announced that both the companies have, through their respective subsidiaries entered into an agreement for Tigo Ghana Limited and Airtel Ghana Limited to combine their operations in Ghana.
According to the agreement, Airtel and Millicom would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity.
The combined business would serve nearly 10 million customers, of which 5.6 million are data customers.
It would cover more than 80 per cent of Ghana's population with high-speed data, providing the widest 3G coverage across the country, and would have revenues close to $300 million, making it one of the largest communications companies in Ghana.
The transaction is subject to obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Ghana and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
By integrating the two networks, the combined business is expected to provide Ghanaian customers with a major boost in both rural and urban network coverage, in turn, translating into better voice quality, high-speed data services and reinforced network stability and resilience.
With the combined fibre footprint and increased number of data centres, enterprise customers including both large corporations and SMEs would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions.
Mobile Financial Services will also be greatly enhanced with combined agent networks and platforms.
"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," said MD and CEO Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava.
"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," said Executive vice president Millicom Africa, Mohamed Dabbour.