Millicom acquires remaining shares in Navega

Friday, March 13, 2009

Millicom International Cellular (Nasdaq: MICC) has purchased the remaining shares in two joint ventures, Central American carrier of carriers Navega and Millicom's business in Chad, for a proportional total of US$60mn.

Millicom controls Comcel Guatemala, which now owns 100% of Navega, the company that runs the fiber optic backbone rings for Millicom's mobile businesses in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Comcel will finance the acquisition locally, in Guatemala, Millicom said.

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"Comcel and its partners created Navega in 2000 to provide our mobile businesses in Central America with fiber optic rings for backhaul and to provide access to submarine cables and the internet cloud," the chief officer for Latin America with Millicom, Mario Zanotti, said.

"By taking full control of the Navega business, Millicom will be able to ensure the quality and the timely availability of backbone transmission capacity for its three mobile businesses, to benefit our end customer."

"This transaction will also benefit us by supporting the growing demand for internet access as we expand our 3G broadband services," he added.

Millicom also has reached an agreement on the purchase of the remaining 12.5% in its joint venture in Chad. This business had 541,000 subscribers by end-4Q08 and today is the number two operator in Chad, with a 45% market share, in a country with a mobile penetration of only 12% but a population of 10mn.