Vodafone Group PLC Completes Shares Transfer To Telecel
British telecommunications company, Vodafone Group PLC, has completed the transfer of its 70% shares in Vodafone Ghana to the Telecel Group.
The process which was initially hindered by Ghana’s National Communication Authority (NCA) has finally pushed through following approval from the Authority in January 2023.
The transaction was carried out after the necessary regulatory approvals were granted.
Founded in 1986, the Telecel Group is an African-focused telecommunication company converging telecommunication with Fintech, e-commerce and tech startups.
In a press statement announcing the completion of the transaction, the Telecel group said the takeover is a “testament to our enthusiasm and positive outlook for the Ghanaian market, which we view as a vital market with unlimited potential for digitalization and innovation in Africa.
“Telecel Group is eager to develop and bring forward-thinking offerings to our subscribers, enterprises, and communities in Ghana. We look forward to a transformation journey of Vodafone Ghana with the contribution and growth of its human capital.”
It said the operations of Vodafone Ghana and its three subsidiaries; National Communication Backbone Company Limited (Vodafone Wholesale), Vodafone Ghana Mobile Financial Services Limited (Vodafone Cash), and the Vodafone Ghana Foundation, will continue uninterrupted while embracing exciting new possibilities.
In mid-January, the National Communication Authority (NCA) gave the green light for the transfer of the 70% stake owned by Vodafone Group Plc in Vodafone Ghana to the Telecel Group- an Africa-focused telecommunication service provider.
This was after the NCA had blocked the transaction in 2022 citing irregularities in their proposal.
“In accordance with due process, the Authority evaluated the application on various criteria and engaged both Vodafone Ghana and Telecel group. After the criteria regulatory review and evaluation, the NCA concluded that the request did not meet the regulatory threshold for approval to be granted”, the Authority explained last year in a statement.
In a press statement dated January 16, 2023, the Authority said it had given Vodafone the nod to proceed with the transaction with Telecel.
“The National Communications Authority (NCA) is pleased to announce that pursuant to the evaluation of the revised proposal from the Telecel Group, it has granted approval for the transfer of the 70% majority shares in Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (Vodafone Ghana) held by Vodafone International Holdings B.V. (the Seller) to Telecel Group (the Buyer) subject to concessions made by the Seller and representations made by the Buyer to the NCA.”
It explained that “following the NCA’s decision, the Buyer resubmitted a revised financial and technical proposal in December 2022 which demonstrated the needed capital investment to extend the deployment of 4G and launch innovative Fintech solutions.
“The NCA found that the revised proposal provided more clarity and certainty in terms of the funding required for the acquisition and the commitments from both the Seller and Buyer. In addition, the Buyer has strengthened the overall governance and management team and made firm commitments towards meeting the regulatory requirements of the NCA.”
The NCA in a statement dated February 21 said it had granted final approval for the transaction.
“The National Communications Authority wishes to confirm that it has given final approval for the transfer of the 70% majority shares in Vodafone Ghana (Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited– GTCL) held by Vodafone Group PLC to the Telecel Group.”
The final approval follows the government’s satisfaction with the conditions outlined in the conditional approval of the shares transfer, including the agreement that the Government of Ghana remains the 30% minority shareholder, the Authority said.
Meanwhile, it said it will continue to guide the takeover process in accordance with the existing licence conditions of Vodafone Ghana while ensuring that the interests of consumers are held paramount.
The NCA further assured the public that due process will be followed in the interest of all parties.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini