One company’s decision to leave Ghana not a disincentive to economy – Yofi Grant on Vodafone sale

Yoofi Grant GIPC.jpeg Yofi Grant, CEO of GIPC

Sun, 7 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has intimated that the sale of a 70% stake in Vodafone Ghana does not affect the country’s economic outlook.

Yofi Grant stated that Vodafone’s decision is not an inconvenience since it is the only telecoms company making the decision.

He told journalists in an interview after the GIPC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in Accra; “If you were to tell me all the foreign companies were exiting, that will be a difficult story. But if one, for a strategic reason decides that this is not the market that they want to be in, it doesn’t create a disincentive.”

He added “Like I did say, these are two different opportunities. Foreign Direct Investment is directly investing in business opportunities in the country. Foreign portfolio investors then come and list their companies to invest in and create opportunities for other investors for any exiting companies."

Speaking further, Yofi Grant said companies enter and exit Ghana all the time, therefore if any company decides to leave Ghana at a point, it is an error to assume that that singular act paints a bad picture for the country.

“So, they are not the same thing. Vodafone was never listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, for MTN it is. Companies come and go all the time. If you are to say that one signal sums up the whole market, that will be erroneous.”

Telecommunications Company, Telecel Group, has stated that it is ready to re-engage the government after its initial disapproval to acquire a 70% stake in Vodafone Ghana.

Telecel Group confirmed that it has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Vodafone to acquire a 70% percent stake in Vodafone Ghana and this is currently pending regulatory approval.

In a statement by the telecom company, it said, “Telecel Group and Vodafone have been in touch with Ghana's Ministry for Communications, Bank of Ghana, and the National Communications Authority, to finalize all the regulatory requirements related to this transaction.”

“We have received their responses which have not granted the approvals yet and Telecel is willing to re-engage soon after putting together the necessary clarifications,” it further stated.

The acquisition is fully financed by Telecel Group and its partners.

Telecel however confirmed that the potential sale of Vodafone Ghana Towers is not part of the acquisition funding.

“Telecel hopes to successfully conclude this transaction and looks forward to engaging with staff and customers, who are important to the business.”

The company noted that Ghana's business climate suits its business models and was the key enabling factor based on which the Group was able to reach an agreement with Vodafone.

It further disclosed that, “Telecel Group has already made investments in Ghana as part of the Africa Startup Initiative Program “ASIP", and it intends to spend around 500 million USD in the first three years to expand and refinance Vodafone's network across the country.”

Meanwhile, Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has confirmed that the group seeking to purchase majority shares in Vodafone Ghana was denied regulatory approval.

This comes after a report by Bloomberg said the parent company, Vodafone PLC, had agreed to sell its operations in Ghana to Telecel Group, a British telecommunications giant.

Providing an update on the takeover, the Communications Minister, speaking on Accra-based Asaase Radio revealed, “They were denied regulatory approval earlier this year. I am surprised at the news going around.”

“Vodafone notified the President; I think sometime last year of their intention to exit the Ghana market since they were majority shareholders of the company (70 percent). They have been through the process of seeking a new investor for their 70 percent shares and identified Telecel as that investor,” she disclosed.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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