AT Ghana (formerly AirtelTigo) is set to get a US$150 million recapitalization following the acquisition of 85% shares by UK-based private equity firm, Hannam Investment, Techfocus24 can confirm.
Government of Ghana holds the remaining 15% in a joint venture (JV), which is yet to be given a name.
On November 1, 2023, when government announced the Hannam Investment deal with AT Ghana, it failed to spell out the shareholding details and the amount involved.
However, Techfocus24 has learnt that government is insisting on seeing evidence of the full US$150 million before closing the deal, something which is likely to happen within the next few weeks to make way for the investment to kick in.
Government’s insistence on seeing evidence of the money is against the backdrop of what happened with the Vodafone-Telecel deal, where the Vodafone Group claimed, without evidence, that the sale was an all-cash deal. And Telecel also claimed it had earmarked some US$500 million for investment into Vodafone Ghana, without showing evidence of same.
Persons close to both the AT Ghana-Hannam and the Vodafone-Telecel deals have been telling Techfocus24 that government felt it was a mistake on its part to have approved the Vodafone-Telecel deal without seeing evidence of the money Telecel promised to invest in Vodafone Ghana. So, they do not want to repeat the mistake with the AT Ghana deal.
Meanwhile, the US$150 million investment into AT Ghana is expected, as per a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization to “enhance future communications, marketing materials, and branding initiatives of AT Ghana.”
Even though that level of investment is still not anyway close to what AT Ghana needs to be competitive against the significant market power (SMP), of the magnitude of MTN Ghana, the ministry said it still signifies the dawn of a new era for AT and the entire telecommunication industry in Ghana.
As far as Hannam Investment’s experience in telecoms and technology goes, they are known to be a key investor behind UK-based fintech, Revolute and also have some investments in telecom in Türkiye (formerly Turkey).
Vodafone to Telecel
But speaking of the dawn of a new era, the Vodafone Group has also completed the transition of its assets and liabilities in Ghana Telecoms to the Telecel Group and soon Vodafone Ghana will be rebranded to Telecel.
The company recently made an official announcement of same on its social media platforms and also via radio commercials.
It is not clear when exactly the rebranding will be rolled out, but it is most likely to start at the close of this month with a series of activities.
Take note that Telecel has promised to investment US$500 million in Ghana to increase the number of sell sites, improve broadband quality and innovate around fintech, while riding on the back of its national roaming agreement with MTN Ghana to serve customers better.
Telecel is also gearing up to go public via an IPO (initial public offer) in the next five years.
Government has also announced a technology neutrality policy, which allows AT Ghana and Telecel to get into the 4G space for less, while government is also creating an independent entity to host both 4G and 5G assets, from which all industry players can access and improve on their service quality.
It is expected that all the legacy telcos will buy into that arrangement to ensure a general improvement in quality of service across all networks.
Source: techfocus24 (News Ghana)