Ghana Government takes over Airtel Ghana shares in $24m impairment charge deal
Reports indicate the Government of Ghana has acquired shares of Bharti Airtel in an impairment charge of some 24 million dollars following the company’s exit from the Ghanaian telecoms market.
AirtelTigo is a joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular, operators of Tigo in Ghana. The two merged in 2017, becoming the second-largest telecom operator in Ghana at the time.
The deal according to industry watchers will allow the government to own 100% shares of Airtel Ghana coupled with the acquisition of customers, assets, and other agreed liabilities
According to a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange, as reported by Graphiconline.com, the Airtel said “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,”
The Network Operators have a customer base of nearly 10 million in Ghana. Airtel holds a non-controlling 49.95 percent stake in AirtelTigo
In a stock exchange notice, Bharti Airtel said the decision to depart the market was approved by the company’s board on October 27, and it will pay the Ghanaian government an impairment charge of INR1.84 billion ($24 million).
The operator in 2017 said it was looking to reduce its African footprint through consolidation or stake reductions in six-non-profitable markets in the continent.