Tanzania:Stanchart supports Tigo to buy stake in Zantel

Millicon Tanzania (Tigo) has secured US$100 million from Standard Chartered Bank for the acquisition of majority stake Zantel.

Under the deal, StanChart, in partnership with the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), funded Millicom's acquisition of an 85 per cent stake in Zantel.

The government of Zanzibar will retain its 15 per cent shareholding in the Zanzibar-based telecom's company.

The facility, according to StanChart statement, is one of bank's largest term facilities within the East Africa's telecommunications sector.

Millicom Africa Division's Chief Executive Officer, Ms Cynthia Gordon, said Zantel will give the firm another channel to extend market-leading mobile benefits to the people of Zanzibar and Tanzania as whole.

"We look forward to working (with) the government of Zanzibar to create a strong and revitalised Zantel with improved customer experience on voice, data and mobile financial services," Ms Gordon said.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr Sanjay Rughani, incoming CEO for StanChart Tanzania said the bank was pleased to play its part in this landmark transaction to support tele-growth.

"This transaction of 100 million US dollars, demonstrates the ability of banks like Standard Chartered to support significant investment in Tanzania," Mr Rughani said.

Over the last five years, StanChart has arranged over 10 billion US dollars worth of loans and facilities to support the growth and development of Africa's telecommunications sector.

Zantel has approximately 5.0 per cent of Tanzania's current mobile phone market share, and posted gross revenues of 82 million US dollars in 2014.

Zantel's ownership rights to undersea fibre optic cable capacity, will support Millicom's successful 'Digital Lifestyle' strategy which is centred around enhanced data access.

Millicom is an international telecommunications company offering a range of mobile services, cable TV and broadband across 14 markets in Africa and Latin America. Tigo, entered the market in 1993, it currently supports over 8.0 million customers.

Over the next seven years, Sub Saharan Africa is tipped to be the fastest growing region globally when it comes to mobile phone usage according to Frost & Sullivan firm.

Data access and consumption is also expected to surge, spurred by the implementation of undersea cables around Africa's East and West Coasts led to a saving of almost 90 per cent in international data costs at launch.

Africa's growth in mobile data traffic is expected to expand by an average annual growth rate of 77 per cent between 2013 and 2017 as per Deloitte 2014 Report. 
Source: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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