Millicom International Cellular SA which owns the flagship brand TIGO has sold its stakes in what were its remaining two African markets and left the continent altogether.
The company sold its operations in Tanzania to a consortium led Axian, the same group that had acquired Millicom’s operations in Senegal in 2018. Tigo Tanzania currently has 13 million subscribers and directly and indirectly employs over 300,000 people.
Millicom also sold its remaining stake in AirtelTigo in Ghana to the government. In this particular deal, the company and its partner Bharti Airtel signed a joint agreement to sell both their stakes to the Ghanaian government at an undisclosed amount. Airtel Tigo Ghana has a subscriber base of 10 million users.
Bharti Airtel has struggled to put its foot down in the African market since setting shop in what was a broad investment across the continent. It has over the years mulled pulling out of the continent altogether due to frequent losses. In 2020 it entered a deal to merge with Telkom in the Kenyan market but the deal fell through after Telkom pulled out following ‘change of strategy’.
Millicom prides itself as a leading provider of cable, mobile and high-speed broadband services, dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. With its latest sales, it says it wants to focus its energies to Latin America. However, it has failed to break through the tough African telecom market.
“Today Tigo is a leading provider of broadband services to consumers, businesses and governments in Latin America, where penetration and data speeds remain low by the standards of more mature markets,” said Millicom CEO, Mauricio Ramos.