Tigo Ghana chief executive to lead merged entity, which becomes market’s number two player

Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular have announced the closure of the deal that will see them merge their operations in Ghana into a 50:50 joint venture.

Millicom made a short statement on the matter late last week and the pair together issued a more comprehensive announcement on Monday in which they disclosed additional details on the tie-up, including the identity of its chief executive.

Roshi Motman, the current CEO of Tigo Ghana, will take charge of the merged entity, the telcos said. Tigo is Millicom’s operating brand in Ghana and other markets.

"Both Airtel and Millicom will have board representations and management positions in the merged entity," the telcos said.

The deal closes after the Ghana National Communications Authority (NCA) gave its approval earlier this month, subject to certain conditions, including the sale of some spectrum.

The merger creates Ghana’s second-largest mobile operator, putting it just ahead of current number two player Vodafone but still some way behind market leader MTN. The JV will have close to 10 million subscribers, a network covering 80% of the population, and revenues of approximately US£300 million, the telcos said.

"The significant synergies from this merger will help the combined entity achieve profitability and cash-flow levels faster," the companies said.

They will continue to operate both the Airtel and Tigo brands in Ghana.