Mobile operator Tigo's holding company, Luxemburg based Millicom International Cellular S.A. will be selling its Sri Lankan operation to UAE's Etisalat for US $155 million, a company spokesperson said.
"This transaction will close on 20th October and is the last sale of our Asian operation divestment programme," Peregrine Riviere, Millicom's Head of External Communications told the Sunday Times FT in a telephone interview. He said Millicom's Cambodian and the Laotian operations have been disposed of already, and with this sale the company can concentrate on the growth prospects in Latin America and the African continent.
Etisalat has been the telecommunications service provider in the UAE since 1976 and was the first telecom operator in the Gulf region to introduce a mobile phone service.
Tigo sources said Bharti Airtel Ltd. which was also shortlisted to buy the local operation of Millicom was not successful. Millicom owns 100% of Celltel Lanka Ltd, Sri Lanka's third largest mobile phone operator which provides services under the Tigo brand name. It had little over two million subscribers, as at January 2009.