Millicom ups stakes in joint ventures

17 Mar 2009

Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has announced that it has purchased the remaining shares in two joint ventures for a total of USD60 million. The first joint venture, Guatemala-based Navega, controls the fibre-optic backbone rings for Millicom’s mobile businesses in Guatemala (Comcel), Honduras and El Salvador. Comcel will finance the acquisition locally in Guatemala. By assuming 100% control of the business, Millicom will reportedly be able to ensure the quality and the timely availability for backbone transmission capacity for its three mobile businesses to benefit its end customer. In addition, the transaction is expected to support the growing demand for access to the internet as the company expands its 3G networks.

Millicom has also reached agreement on the purchase of the remaining 12.5% in its joint venture in Chad. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database Tigo Chad had 541,000 subscribers at the end of 2008, giving it around a 35% market share, behind the country’s sole alternative provider Zain.