Maroc Telecom Acquires Tigo Chad, One of Millicom's Last Strongholds in Africa -


The Moroccan operator announced the 14 March the signing of an agreement with the Luxembourg group Millicom to acquire the Tigo brand in Chad. A purchase that would allow Maroc Telecom to continue its offensive south of the Sahara.

With the acquisition of the local subsidiary of the Luxembourg group Tigo, Morocco Telecom intends to make Chad its tenth country on the continent. Encouraged by good results last year (36 billion dirhams, 3,3 billion euros of turnover in 2018), the group is continuing its assault on the sub-Saharan markets.

A paying strategy for the group that was losing momentum in Morocco: in 2018, 45% of its turnover came from its African subsidiaries and their more than 19 million customers. In 2014, the group, already present in Gabon (Gabon Telecom), Mali (Sotelma), Mauritania (Mauritel) and Burkina Faso (Onatel), took control of Moov in Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Niger, the Central African Republic and - again - in Gabon.

By integrating the Chadian market, Maroc Telecom would offer the country's leader in telephony and internet (53,95% market share in 2017, according to figures from the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts).

Progressive disengagement

Established in the country since 2005 Tigo Chad account 13 millions of customers. 2018's revenue was 128 million, down by 8,6% from 2017, where it was already down by 15,7% from last year. With this sale, which has yet to be validated by the Chadian authorities, Millicom continues its withdrawal from the African continent, nearly a year after the finalization of the sale of its Senegalese subsidiary the consortium composed of NJJ companies, Xavier Niel's personal holding company, Sofima, a subsidiary of the Axian group owned by the Hiridjee family, and Teyliom Group, an investment fund controlled by Yerim Sow.

The Luxembourg group, which has announced for several years its intention to focus on the Latin American market, he considers more profitable because less taxed and less competitive. He therefore withdrew from the DRC in April 2016, in favor of Orange, Ghana, in October 2017, selling his shares to Airtel, to which he also sold his Rwandan subsidiary two months later.

Millicom is now only present in Tanzania, with its subsidiary 100% MIC Tanzania Public Limited Company, which achieved in 2018 a turnover of 356 million dollars, up 2,3% compared to 2017, and Zanzibar, where the operator owns 85% of Zanzibar Telecom Limited.

To the listing in Tanzania

In 2016, Millicom's Tanzanian subsidiary has had to deal with "third-party claims to exercise rights in its governance," as a result of "inaccurate Tanzanian business registers," wrongly attributing it to a share of capital of the operator. "The 26 July 2018, the court of appeal of Tanzania has proved us right," said the Luxembourg company in its annual report, where the issue of a possible disengagement from the country is not posed. On the contrary, the company indicates its intention to "continue to control and consolidate MIC Tanzania Public Limited Company".

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Millicom is however exposed to sanctions by the Tanzanian authorities - of which it says itself unable to estimate the financial impact - because of its delay in the execution of the opening of 25% of the capital of MIC Tanzania on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, theoretically required from 2017. The listing transaction has indeed been delayed because of this registration error in the trade records, said the company announcing its listing for the first half 2019.

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