Millicom becomes Tanzania's number two mobile operator

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Millicom on Monday became the second largest mobile operator in Tanzania, by subscribers, when it closed the acquisition of market minnow Zantel.

The emerging markets-focused operator said that following receipt of regulatory approval it had completed the acquisition of an 85% stake in Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel). The government of Zanzibar has retained a 15% stake in the company.

It announced the deal in June. At the time it said it would pay a token amount of $1 for the telco, plus the assumption of $74 million worth of debt obligations; it also said Zantel would have up to $32 million in net current liabilities at the close of the deal.

It did not comment on the purchase price on Monday. However it noted that the deal required the repayment of Zantel's outstanding debt at closing, which it said was achieved via a new loan supported by Standard Chartered Bank and The Swedish Export Credit Corporation.

"Millicom will work alongside the government of Zanzibar to create a strong and revitalized Zantel bringing new benefits to the people of Zanzibar such as improved customer experience on voice, data and mobile financial services," said Millicom's newly appointed Africa CEO Cynthia Gordon.

Zantel is the biggest mobile operator in Zanzibar and had a 4.8% share of the overall Tanzania market as of the end of June, according to the latest figures from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

Together, Zantel and Millicom's Tigo unit claimed 34.2% of the market at the same date, putting them ahead of Airtel, which had 30.1%.

Vodacom remains at the head of the pack with 35.2%.

There were 34.11 million mobile subscribers in Tanzania at the end of June, the TCRA said.
Source: Total Telecom 26 ocotber 2015