Just two months after entering the African market, Bharti Airtel has acquired 100 percent ownership of Telecom Seychelles for $62 million in order to consolidate its share of the African market.
Bharti Airtel of India entered the African market through the acquisition of Zain Africa operations, at a cost of $10.7 billion. The company is however, still struggling to buy 40 percent of Zain Tanzania, for $11 million, from the Tanzanian government.
Bharti Airtel international CEO Manoj Kohli said in Lusaka this week with the new acquisition, Bharti Airtel would expand its African footprint to 16 African countries and its overall presence to 19 countries.
Kohli said the company is delighted at the addition of Seychelles to the African portfolio because in addition to expanding the company's footprint, it adds to the subscriber base and increases revenue. The acquisition means that Bharti Airtel is now competing, in terms of expansion, with MTN, Africa's largest mobile operators with a presence in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East including Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Iran and Jordan.
"Telecom Seychelles has world class operations that include state-of-the-art 3G services. These operations will benefit further by leveraging the efficiencies of the scale of our African operations," Kohli said.