The finalisation of the sale of Millicom's operation in Senegal eight months after the transaction was announced is described as a turning point by the telco's most senior representative in the country.
Millicom first announced in February 2017 that it had agreed to sell its Senegal business to financial services company Wari Group for US$129 million before switching and selling to the consortium.
Mitwa Kaemba N'Gambi, General Manager at Tigo Senegal said the new ownership, represented by a consortium comprised of Teyliom Group, NJJ and Sofima, represents a fresh start for the operator.
"We are very grateful to the State of Senegal for its support throughout the sales process. We also express our gratitude to all of our employees whose dynamism and commitment have enabled Tigo to become a leading operator in Senegal. This sale marks an important turning point in the life of our company made stronger by the various transformations that it has experienced over the years."
N'Gambi added that confirmation of the transaction by the Senegalese government through a presidential decree means all customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals have now been received.
"We are convinced that the arrival of the consortium will allow us to continue this rise in the telecom sector in Senegal by injecting a new dynamic and relying on the skills of the teams," said N'Gambi.
According to a message posted on behalf of the consortium on the Tigo Senegal website, the three companies will use their combined experience in telecoms across Europe and Africa to contribute to digital and social inclusion in Senegal – and this will be done through investments in infrastructure, development of local expertise, and innovative offers in order for Tigo to "strengthen its position as a key digital player in Senegal".
Millicom's Law Enforcement Disclosure report, released in early 2018, states that the company has run operations in Africa close to a quarter of a century and has invested a total of US$81 million to modernise and expand the geographical coverage of mobile networks.
The sale of its businesses in Africa began in 2016 with the sale of operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a merge of its operations in Ghana with those of (Bharti) Airtel in 2017 as well as the sale of its Rwandan unit at the end of January 2018.
In the company's financial year results, presented in February, Millicom CEO Mauricio Ramos said the company will now focus its business on Latin America - although operations in Chad and Tanzania, as well as the merged entity in Ghana, remain important areas of the business.
"In Africa, we delivered on our commitment to generate positive free cash flow from the region in 2017. We also disposed of our operation in Rwanda, and we completed a merger in Ghana, consistent with our strategy to focus on the Latam region."