Tigo Senegal, Saga Africa deal a boost for govt's PES

Tigo Senegal, Saga Africa deal a boost for govt's PES

Officials believe transaction will support Plan for an Emerging Senegal.

Senegal's President Macky Sall has signed a decree officially recognising the transfer of ownership of Tigo Senegal to Saga Africa Holdings.

Saga Africa Holdings is a consortium established by Teyliom Telecom, NJJ and Sofima, owned by YĆ©rim Sow, Xavier Niel and Hassanein Hiridjee respectively.

According to official information supplied, the President decided to go with Saga Africa Holdings because he believes Sow, Niel and Hiridjee to be telecom experts that can add value to Tigo Senegal customers and partners in line with the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES).

The decree was signed during Sall's visit to France and is against the wishes of the Wari Group which was initially favored by the President for the acquisition.

In February 2017, ITWeb Africa reported a deal was made by Millicom International Cellular (MIC) for the sale of its Senegal subsidiary, Tigo Senegal, to Wari Group for US$129 million in line with its African restructuring towards achieving "better position".

But in August 2017, MIC announced its decision to cancel the deal with Wari Group and revealed it is selling Tigo Senegal to Saga Africa Holdings instead.

MIC blamed Wari Group's inability to meet the 2 June 2017 deadline to provide the funds required as part of the transaction, revealing that on 28 July it had not yet received the financing.

"Millicom therefore decided to exercise its right to terminate the transaction and notified Wari, in accordance with the terms of the sales agreement. The termination of the transaction is consequently compliant with the terms of the sales agreement," the telco stated.

This led to the intervention of the President.

In December 2017, following Wari's request for arbitration at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, against Millicom and the companies Teyliom Telecom, NJJ and Sofima, Sall called the various parties to resolve the conflict amicably.

While Wari Group is yet to issue an official response, the decree enjoined the new owners to implement competitive prices in order to restore the purchasing power to the Senegalese customer.