Tigo announces merger with Airtel; vindicates 3FM

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Barely a week after Airtel had strongly denied any move to merge its operations with Tigo, the latter has admitted completing an agreement to combine operations with its rival in Ghana. A statement published on the website of Tigo Ghana Limited said both companies will have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity. 3news.com on Saturday February 5, 2017 published a story that was first reported by 3FM 92.7 that the two telecommunications giants have completed their merger process. This attracted backlash and vehement denial from Airtel with its director of communications completely running down the possibility of the two merging, with his outfit insisting that the ‘false’ story is pulled down. “I don’t know why people will come up with such stories. It is complete falsehood,” Richard Ahiagble emphasized. ___________________________________________ Read the first story: Tigo, Airtel complete merger talks ___________________________________________ But the statement from Millicom issued in Luxembourg dated February 3, 2017 exposed Airtel’s position. “Millicom International Cellular S.A. (“Millicom”) and Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”), today announced that they have, through their respective subsidiaries, entered into an agreement for Tigo Ghana Limited and Airtel Ghana Limited to combine their operations in Ghana. As per the agreement, Millicom and Airtel would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity,” the statement was emphatic. The transaction is subject to obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Ghana and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the statement said. Mohamed Dabbour, Executive Vice President, Millicom Africa, is quoted by the statement as saying: “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.” Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa,  also said: “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 better experience for the customers.” By Isaac Essel |3news.com | Ghana]]>