Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has signed a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular under which it will acquire 100 percent equity interest in Tigo Rwanda Limited. In the agreement, about 370 million customers of Tigo will join the network of Airtel Rwanda. According to the statement of Bharti Airtel, This deal will make Airtel Rwanda, the second largest operator in the country with revenues of over USD 80 million and a revenue market share of over 40 percent. The transaction is considered as it based on approximately 6x EBITDA multiple which is payable over two years. This deal is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals the statement said on Tuesday.
At present, apart from India and South Asia, the Airtel operates are also in 15 African countries. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Chairman of Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. Today, it has taken one another important step by acquiring Tigo Rwanda, to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market.” Few days before Mittal has admitted that the African investment of the company, was ‘a bit rushed’ and should have been done with a little more.
Over the years Airtel has been trying to make its market position strong to become a main operator in the continent by the addition of countries. In the past, Airtel acquired its strength in Uganda (Warid), Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile) and in Ghana (Millicom). In a recent Mittal said that the company would look at consolidation in countries like Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania through mergers, acquisitions or both, even turning a corner of the overall business of Africa.
In terms of geographical reach, the Airtel company is one of the largest telecom service providers across the continent. And as per the statement, the company had close to 83 million customers at the end of September 30, 2017.