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Bharti Airtel to acquire Rwandan telecom operator

Bharti Airtel Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular SA under which Airtel Rwanda will acquire the entire stake in Tigo Rwanda.

The acquisition will consolidate the Rwandan telecom market and position Airtel as the No. 2 operator in Rwanda. Consideration for the transaction is based on about 6x EBITDA multiple, payable over two years.

"Airtel has taken proactive steps in Africa to consolidate and realign the market structure in the last few remaining countries where its operations are lagging on account of lower market share and presence of too many operators," Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Airtel and Tigo have already merged to create a strong viable entity in Ghana, he said.

The agreement aims to bring together the strengths of Airtel and Millicom in Rwanda and offer benefits to customers in the form of a wider network, affordable voice and data services, and improved customer care.

Existing Tigo Rwanda customers will join Airtel's network. With presence across 15 African countries, Airtel had close to 83 million customers in Africa as of Sept. 30. Globally, in terms of customer base, Airtel it is the third-largest mobile services provider.