Six companies shortlisted to bid for Ghana Telecom
There are six bidders for incumbent Ghana Telecom including Portugal Telecom, France Telecom and Telkom South Africa for the 51% stake the government wants to sell. Twenty foreign investors initially expressed interest in the sale. The rest of the shares will then be floated on the Ghana stock exchange (GSE).
According to source close to the Information Ministry indicates that these Telecom Companies would be in the country very soon to submit their bids for the majority stake in GT.
Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) and Societe Generale are the transactional advisors for Ghana for the privatization. It is believed that the transaction would be completed the process by the end of this year.
All bidders are probably most interested in two things: Ghana Telecom’s mobile subsidiary One Touch and Ghana Telecom’s potential to dominate the supply of broadband.
This will be France Telecom’s first outing that it has itself initiated (rather than inherited through acquisition) in an Anglophone market in Africa and it has the money and the track record to be a strong favourite. Portugal Telecom has teamed up with Nigerian VC company Helios for its new investment strategy but is more accustomed to sleepy monopoly markets rather than competition. Teaming with others to raise money may mean that it lacks the resources for a major bid. After a long spell where it seemed unable to buy anything, Telkom South Africa’s luck has changed recently. Whoever wins the bid has an awful lot of sorting out to do against a backdrop of increasing competition in the market.