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Vodafone buys 70% of Ghana Telecom for $900m

Friday, July 4, 2008

Vodafone has acquired a 70 per cent stake in Ghana Telecom for $900m, in the latest sign of the UK mobile operator’s appetite for Africa’s fast-growing telecoms markets.

Arun Sarin, Vodafone’s outgoing chief executive, said in a statement: ”Ghana is one of the most attractive markets in Africa with mobile subscribers growing at more than 55 per cent a year and mobile penetration around 35 per cent. Our extensive operating experience together with our portfolio of products and services position us well to deliver a superior mobile experience to Ghanaian customers and significantly improve financial performance.”

Ghana Telecom operates the country’s third largest mobile carrier, with 1.4m customers and a one-third market share, and a fixed line and broadband service. It reported revenue growth of 9.3 per cent in the 12 months ended 31 December 2007 to $290m and earnings of $42m.

Vodafone has identified Africa as one of its key targets for growth, having expanded its position in India last year. Vodafone already owns a majority stake in Vodafone Egypt and 40 per cent of Safaricom in Kenya, which listed on the Kenyan market recently. It is also looking to increase its 50 per cent stake in Vodacom, South Africa’s largest mobile operator, where Telkom is currently its joint venture partner.