Telecel snaps up MTN assets in West Africa

Telecel Group has bought two West African units from Africa’s largest wireless company, MTN, as it scales operations ahead of an initial public offering in three years. 

The Africa-focused telecommunications company is buying MTN’s debt and equity in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, CEO Moh Damush said in an interview, without disclosing the size of the latest acquisitions.

This follows the purchase of Vodafone’s operations in Ghana last year.

“Dubai and London seem to be our preferred options for a listing,” Damush said. “We are also interested in further developments in the next years that would allow considering African bourses.”

Africa is home to the youngest and fastest-growing population in the world, making it attractive.

Still, telecom companies in these markets have to be prepared for challenges, including inadequate energy supply and catering to lower-income consumers. 

More acquisitions

Telecel is looking at two other prospects on the continent. The “next round of acquisitions will focus on financial services and tech companies that can add value to our investments,” Damush said. 

Other than financing from shareholders, Telecel is also raising money from Africa-focused funds, banks, and equity investors for the acquisitions, he said.

Damush and partners Hugues Mulliez and Nicolas Bourg acquired Telecel in 2017. The firm has interests in several markets such as Ghana, Central Africa Republic and Liberia.


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