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Bharti Airtel to acquire Millicom?s Rwanda operations

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MUMBAI: Telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Limited, through its subsidiary Airtel Rwanda, has entered into a definitive  agreement with Millicom  International  Cellular S.A. to acquire 100 per cent equity interest in Tigo Rwanda.

The acquisition will consolidate the Rwandan telecom market and position  Airtel as a strong operator  in Rwanda.  The acquisition cost is approximately six times EBITDA multiple payable  over  two years.

Bharti  Airtel  chairman Sunil  Bharti  Mittal said, "Airtel   has  taken  proactive   steps  in  Africa  to consolidate and  realign  the market  structure in the last few remaining  countries where  its operations are lagging on account of lower market share and presence of too many operators. Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. Today, it has taken yet another  important step to acquire  Tigo Rwanda  to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market.?

Mittal added that Airtel Africa was committed to the long-term viability of the operations in Kenya  and Tanzania to ensure that in 2018 all its 15 operations in Africa started contributing positive  margins and cash flows towards a healthy and profitable Airtel Africa.

The agreement aims to bring together the strengths of Airtel and Millicom in Rwanda and offer benefits to customers in the form of a wider network and affordable voice and data services. The existing customers of Tigo Rwanda will join Airtel's global network, which currently serves over 370 million customers across 17 countries.

Airtel Africa MD and CEO Raghunath Mandava said, "The acquisition reinforces our commitment to the Rwanda market and is a significant step towards creating a stronger presence in the country. It will create synergies with  our  existing  business and  help  boost  operational efficiencies in the  market.  The Rwandan  telecom  market  will significantly benefit  from this acquisition, further  reiterating our stand that in-market  consolidations do  not just  help  achieve better  market  positions  but  benefit  customers and  the industry  as a whole."

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