Bharti Airtel to acquire Warid’s Congo-Brazzaville operations
New Delhi – To strengthen its foothold in Africa, telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Tuesday said it has entered into “a definitive agreement” with the Warid Group to fully acquire its Congo operations, a company statement said here.
The agreement marks the second in-country acquisition by Airtel in Africa. It had acquired Warid’s Uganda operations earlier this year. The latest acquisition will make Airtel the largest mobile operator in Congo-Brazzaville with around 2.6 million customers. At present, Airtel is the second largest operator in the country with over 1.6 million customers, while Warid is the third largest with around one million customers.
The statement said the agreement, which is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals aims to bring together the strengths of Airtel and Warid in Congo-Brazzaville and benefit customers in the form of affordable tariffs, superior 2G or 3G network, affordable voice and data services and superior customer care.
Existing Warid customers in Congo-Brazzaville will join Airtel’s global network of over 280 million customers and become part of ‘One Airtel’ network with affordable roaming rates across Africa and South Asia.
“This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of strengthening our market position through in-country acquisitions, as and when suitable opportunities comes along. We are at an advanced stage of successfully integrating Waird’s Uganda operations with that of Airtel and look forward to a similarly swift transition in Congo-Brazzaville as well,” said Manoj Kohli, managing director and chief executive officer (International), Bharti Airtel.
“As already demonstrated in Uganda, the merger will bring more value for the customers in the form of affordable data and roaming tariffs, innovative products, Airtel Money, world-class networks and customer care,” he added.
With presence across 17 African countries, Airtel is the largest telecom service provider across the continent in terms of geographical reach and had over 66 million customers at the end of the quarter ended September 2013, the statement said.