Communication Minister Ursula Owusu has revealed that the government has acquired AirtelTigo for US$1.
According to her, debts accrued by AirtelTigo amounting to $100 million owed to Standard Bank will be paid off by the government.
She stated that 50 percent of the debt has been forgiven by the bank and the remaining 50 percent will be paid off by the government of Ghana.
“We consider this a positive step as it adds to the growing portfolio of digital infrastructure assets being utilized by the government,” Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said after the signing of the agreement last week.
In October 2020, Bharti Airtel Ltd sold 100% shares of its business to the government of Ghana and the total sum paid for the operator was reported to be just under US$25 million but the Minister said the government acquired AirtelTigo for just $1.The Government of Ghana, Airtel, and Tigo concluded the discussions for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the Ghanaian government along with all customers, assets, and agreed liabilities.
“The parties are in advance stages of discussions for the conclusion of the commercial agreement for the transfer of AirtelTigo on a going concern basis to the Government of Ghana,” Airtel said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange in India.
The proposed deal would result in the government of Ghana acquiring 100% shares of Airtel Ghana Ltd, also known as AirtelTigo, along with all its customers, assets, and agreed liabilities.
“Accordingly, Airtel is voluntarily taking an impairment charge of Rs 1,841 million (Rs 184 crore),” the statement added.
AirtelTigo is a joint venture between ‘Airtel’ and ‘Millicom’ wherein Airtel holds a non-controlling 49.95% share in AirtelTigo.
Airtel had merged its Ghana operations with Millicom in 2017, resulting in the second-largest mobile carrier in the country.
The merger was approved by the regulator subject to the condition that Ghana government will have the option to pick up a stake in the new entity in the future.
By : Maame Abena Pokua | Active TV Follow us on Twitter @activetvgh