Bharti Airtel has said that it has entered into a definitive agreement with the Warid Group to fully acquire Warid Telecom Uganda. With this deal, Airtel will further consolidate its position as the second largest mobile operator in Uganda with a combined customer base of over 7.4 million and market share of over 39 per cent. The agreement is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.
The agreement aims to bring together the strengths of Airtel and Warid in Uganda and offer benefits to customers in the form of a superior and wider network, affordable voice and data services, and superior customer care. Airtel currently has 4.6 million customers in Uganda. The existing 2.8 million Warid customers in Uganda will join Airtel’s global network that serves over 269 million customers. They enjoy, amongst other things, benefits of the ‘One Airtel’ network with lower roaming rates across Africa and South Asia, an exciting bouquet of innovative services and access to exclusive Premier Club services for High Value Customers.
Manoj Kohli, MD and CEO (International), Bharti Airtel said: “We are delighted at this agreement with Warid, which also happens to be the first in-market acquisition in Bharti Airtel’s history. We believe this market consolidation offers great synergies by bringing together the best of Airtel and Warid to better serve customers in Uganda and drive forward our vision of offering affordable best in-class services in Africa. This development will translate to a healthier telecom sector in Uganda which will be ready to invest & grow in wireless broadband & mCommerce services”.
Mohammed Nahayan, Board Member, Warid Uganda said: “We are extremely pleased with this development, which offers Warid consumers added benefits like wider network coverage, most extensive 3G network and world class products and services from one of the world’s largest mobile services provider. This is a win-win for Warid customers who will now benefit from being part of a 7.4 million combined user base in Uganda.”
With presence across 17 African countries, Airtel is the largest telecom service provider across the Continent in terms of geographical reach and had over 62 million customers at the end of quarter ended December 31, 2012. Globally, Airtel is ranked as the 4th largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base.