Vodafone Group is considering options for its Ghana business as part of a wider strategy to consolidate its African operations and pay down debt, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg. The group could sell its 70% stake in Vodafone Ghana to Johannesburg-listed Vodacom Group, in which it also owns a majority stake, claim the insiders, who asked to remain anonymous as the plans are still private. Any such deal would need to be approved by the Ghanaian government.
Vodafone Group has been focusing on Europe and Africa to generate more income from core assets in recent years, while it pulls back from other markets. In 2019, for example, the company sold its Maltese and New Zealand business units. The group has been steadily consolidating its African operations under Vodacom, in which it holds a more than 60% stake, and sold a minority shareholding in Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, to the South African company in 2017. Vodafone also instructed management of the Ghanaian unit to report to Vodacom from April last year.
Vodafone acquired a 70% stake in national PTO Ghana Telecom from the government in August 2008 for USD900 million. Since then, the company has struggled to compete with dominant market leader MTN; MTN controlled almost 60% of the wireless subscriber market as of 30 September 2020, while Vodafone held under 20%.