Telecel Group to engage govt on Vodafone Ghana takeover

Africa-focused telecom company, Telecel Group, says it is willing to engage the government on its plan to purchase Vodafone Ghana.

Telecel Group confirms it has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Vodafone to acquire a 70 per cent stake in Vodafone Ghana.

Consequently, Telecel Group sent an application to the National Communications Authority for approval for the transfer of shares from Vodafone Ghana to Telecel Group.

The purchase agreement is currently pending regulatory approval.

Telecel Group in a statement copied to the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, said Telecel Group and Vodafone have been in touch with Ghana’s Ministry for Communications, Bank of Ghana, and the National Communications Authority, to finalise all the regulatory requirements related to this transaction.

“We have received their responses which have not granted the approvals yet and Telecel is willing to re-engage soon after putting together the necessary clarifications,” Telecel Group said.

It said the acquisition of Vodafone Ghana was fully financed by Telecel Group and its partners, adding that Telecel confirms that the potential sale of Vodafone Ghana Towers is not part of the acquisition funding.

“Telecel hopes to successfully conclude this transaction and looks forward to engaging with staff and customers, who are important to the business,” the statement said.

Information gathered by the Ghanaian Times indicated that, Telecel Group would inject about $500 million into Vodafone’s operations.

It said part of the investment would be used to service the service provider’s debt while providing capital expenditure to support the technology development and innovation,” a source close to the deal has revealed.

Checks by the Ghanaian Times revealed that part of the amount would be for both mobile telephone and Fixed Broadband (FBB) services with an improved customer experience at the right price point.

“Network availability and reliability are important to seamless service and the investment to be provided by Telecel Group would support the network infrastructure and architecture for existing and new Vodafone Ghana customers, including consumers, corporates, government, and Small and Medium Size Enterprises,” the source said.

The statement said its business model is unique, which focused its strengths on overcoming challenges through disruptive innovation.

“Ghana’s business climate suits the business models of Telecel Group and was the key enabling factor based on which the Group was able to reach an agreement with Vodafone. Telecel Group has already made investments in Ghana as part of the Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP), and it intends to spend around $500 million in the first three years to expand and refinance Vodafone’s network across the country,” it said.

According to its website, Telecel is an Africa-focused telecommunication service provider and leader in the transformation of digital services.

It prides itself as a market disruptor with a wealth of experience from shareholders who have impacted the global retail industry and are poised to apply the same skills to impact positively the continent’s telecom market.

Media reports last week indicates Vodafone Group’s intention to exit Ghana’s telecom market is to enable the service provider to re-focus on its key markets.

 According to the report, the British telecommunication giant has agreed to offload 70 per cent of its stake in Ghana’s operation to Africa-focused telecom company, Telecel Group, subject to regulatory approval by the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communications.

When successfully approved, it will still have the Government of Ghana maintaining its 30 per cent stake in the business.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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