Millicom International Cellular (MIC) – which recently agreed to pay USD1.65 billion for Telefonica’s mobile assets in Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica – will seek to consolidate its new businesses before embarking on any additional M&A activity, a top executive has confirmed. In an interview with BNAmericas, COO Esteban Iriarte noted: ‘Our strategy has always been measured growth, based on acquisitions that help us better serve our customers but not to acquire or grow for the sake of it … We are an important operator and want to continue growing, but we have to take a breather, consolidate what we have and then continue our path. When you look at our trajectory, we have always grown both organically and inorganically. [We] consolidate and then do it again.’
Previously, in December 2018 MIC closed its USD1.0 billion acquisition of an 80% controlling interest in Cable Onda, the largest cable and fixed telecom line service provider in Panama. While no official timeline has been put in place, it seems likely that MIC will seek to rebrand its newly acquired businesses under its preferred ‘Tigo’ banner. MIC currently offers small-scale fixed line services in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, giving it the option of embracing multi-play services in all three of its new Central American markets.