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Vodafone gets the nod to dispose Ghanaian unit

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Ghana , 17 Jan 2023

British telecommunications group, Vodafone is disposing of its interests in Ghana to African operator, Telecel, with the country’s regulatory authority having given the nod for the transaction.

Vodafone Ghana lodged an application with the National Communications Authority of Ghana to transfer a 70% stake in the mobile operator to Telecel in January 2022. However, the regulator did not grant the go ahead as the transaction did not “meet the regulatory” threshold for approval.

Now, after a revised offer, the deal has been approved, the NCA said on Tuesday. The revised proposal demonstrated “the needed capital investment to extend the deployment of 4G and launch innovative Fintech” solutions.

“The NCA confirms that the revised proposal from (Telecel) now meets the regulatory threshold and hence has granted conditional approval for the transfer of shares including the submission of strategies for employee retention,” the NCA said in its statement.

Vodafone forayed into Ghana in 2018 when it snapped up a 70% stake in the then Ghana Telecommunications Company at a value of US$900-million. The Ghanaian government has retained a minority stake in the operator.

Telecel has experience operating across African markets such as Mauritania and Libya.

According to a finance market analyst, who provided comment on condition of anonymity, the disposal of the Ghanaian operator comes on the back of a streamlining exercise by Vodafone to focus on key markets.

“It’s more of a preservation and streamlining exercise to concentrate on key markets that offer the certainty for long term investment. In addition to this, Ghana is becoming a very volatile market and large multinationals do not like that at all.”

The disposal of Vodafone’s interests in Ghana comes on the back of authorities in the country hitting rival operator MTN Ghana with a US$773-million tax bill. The South Africa-based operator says it will contest. 

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