The government of Ghana has officially agreed to sell a 66.7% stake in the country’s second national operator Western Telesystems (WESTEL) Company Limited according to Kinz Telecom, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company, for a total fee of USD250 million. Press reports suggest that the state now plans to sell a further 20% stake in WESTEL to the general public before the end of the year. A deal was said to have been formally concluded last Thursday, paving the way for more competition in the Ghanaian telecoms sector.
On 20 March 2007 a group consisting of Kinz Telecom and Etisalat Communications of the UAE claimed to have won the race to secure WESTEL. Dr Salieh El Hassan, Chairman of Kinz International Group, told TeleGeography: ‘We would like to inform you [that] Kinz Telecom, one of our Kinz International Group, is winning the WESTEL bidding in Ghana… we will get 66.7% of WESTEL.’ At the time, Kinz Telecom also said it had been advised by both the government appointed transactional advisers, NTHC and Databank, and the sector Minister that it had emerged the winner out of the four short-listed bidders.