India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has acquired Seychelles' leading telecommunication services provider Telecom Seychelles Ltd for $62 million. Through this acquisition, Bharti aims to expand its footprint to 16 countries in Africa and its overall presence to 19 countries. Telecom Seychelles has a market share of over 57% in mobile phone services in Seychelles.
The acquisition of Telecom Seychelles will be Bharti's second major deal in recent times after the acquisition of Zain Telecom's African assets for $10.7 billion.
"Telecom Seychelles has world-class operations that include state-of-the art 3G services. These operations will benefit further by leveraging the efficiencies of scale of our African operations," said Manoj Kohli, chief executive officer (international), Bharti Airtel.
In addition, soon after this acquisition Bharti also said it will invest $10 million in Seychelles. According to the company, the investment will be phased over the next three years.
Bharti Airtel will also participate in the Seychelles East Africa submarine cable (SEAS) project. This is a 2,000 km submarine cable between Seychelles and Dar es Salaam, which will connect Seychelles to the world and the global economy. The $34 million project will especially improve the services offered to large enterprises and corporates and will further augment Telecom Seychelles mobile services.
"We will leverage our expertise and infrastructure to offer customized data solutions for our large enterprise and corporate clients, which will help them gain a unique competitive advantage," added Kohli.