Government to engage transaction advisors on AirtelTigo revitalization

    Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalization

    Government will soon be engaging transaction advisors on the long-term operations of the recently acquired telecom operator, AirtelTigo.

    This is part of plans by the government to revive the company as its parent shareholders have exited the Ghanaian market.

    Minister for Communications and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful told Joy Business that government is still assessing the company, but is likely to hire the services of a management firm and transaction advisors.

    “We intend to engage transaction advisors to provide expert advice on the options for the long-term structure of the company going forward, but for the immediate future, we are going to engage a management services company to assist the government in this regard”, he said.

    Ursula Owusu also said the government is willing to invest in the company to enable it generate earnings and pay dividend to government.

    “This is a capital intensive industry and if you invest you will get the returns, but if not, you will feel the pinch and that’s what’s playing out in the industry.”

    “But we have the commitment at the highest level that in the interim, whatever investments it requires to upgrade and extend their [AirteTigo] operations, they will get it. The government is stepping into the shoes of a shareholder whose interest is to get dividend”, she pointed out.

    “So, we won’t just take up the company and sit and watch it deteriorate. We will do what needs to be done to grow the operations of the company,” she stressed.

    The Government of Ghana took over operations of AirtelTigo last month after finalizing all necessary documentation that allows the transfer of its assets.

    This follows a decision by the parent companies of the joint venture firm, Bharti Airtel and Millicom to exit some markets in Sub Saharan Africa including Ghana.

    The two parent companies reported making US$25million each from the sale, but government said Ghana paid a paltry US$1 for it, with huge liabilities, including a US$100 million debt to Standard Chartered Bank.

    The Minister had earlier said some of the debt has been written off, and what is left will be structured and paid off over time.

    Meanwhile, Millicom recently reported making profits after selling off all of its operations in Africa to focus on Latin America.


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