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29 juillet 2009

Africell Holding acquires Millicom SL

Luxembourg-based telecoms group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has announced that Millicom SL, its mobile division in Sierra Leone, has been acquired by Africell Holding, a subsidiary of Lebanon-based telecoms group Lintel. Africell Holding already operates in Sierra Leone through its wholly owned subsidiary, Lintel SL, which operates under the banner Africell SL. The new owners claim that the acquisition will contribute to the consolidation of the country’s mobile market and further enhance Africell’s market leadership in Sierra Leone. Completion of the transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and procedures.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, MIC was awarded a 15-year licence to operate a GSM-900/1800 network in Sierra Leone in August 2000. Pre-paid services were launched in May 2001, initially using only 900MHz spectrum, under the 'Buzz' brand, with services rebranded under the Tigo banner in April 2006.
MIC bought local businessman Humphrey Swaray's 30% holding in the cellco on 1 February 2006 for USD3 million, to give it a 100% stake. In 4Q 2008 MIC classified its Sierra Leone unit as a discontinued operation.