India’s Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Tigo Rwanda from Millicom International Cellular (MIC) in a move which could reduce the Rwandan mobile market from three to two players. A statement from the Indian firm’s chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said: ‘Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. Today, it has taken yet another important step to acquire Tigo Rwanda to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market.’ The statement continued: ‘The consideration for the transaction is based on approximately 6x EBITDA multiple, payable over two years. The agreement is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.’
According to the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), Tigo is the second largest of Rwanda’s three cellcos, with 3.39 million active customers and 39.4% of the overall wireless market in subscriber terms at end-September 2017, just behind market leader MTN with a 41.6% share. Airtel Rwanda sits in third place with 1.63 million customers and a 19.0% share at that date, RURA says. Bharti Airtel recently denied rumours that it was considering exiting the mobile markets in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.