Millicom, last week announced that it has signed an agreement with the Etisalat Group to acquire an 85% stake in Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel), the leading mobile telecom operator on the islands of Zanzibar. Zantel boasts 1.7 million subscribers on the island and mainland Tanzania, and posted gross revenues of $82 million last year. The remaining 15% stake in Zantel will continue to be held by the Government of Zanzibar, said Milicom.
Zantel also has an approximate 5% share of the Tanzanian mobile market and operates 2G and 3G services over 545 network sites, with a total of 57MHz of spectrum across 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands and also has ownership rights to undersea fibre optic cable capacity.
Millicom intends to retain and continue to operate the Zantel brand, while delivering cash flow growth by leveraging technical and operational efficiencies. According to Milicom, the acquisition will further strenghten the company's presence in Tanzania, which is currently its biggest market in Africa. It will enable Milicom to leverage the brand power of Zantel in delivering technical synergies including procurement and national roaming and improving network service quality and coverage.