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Tanzanian government buys back stake in TTCL from Airtel

The government of Tanzania is reacquiring a 35% stake in Tanzania Telecommunications Corp (TTCL) from Indian firm Bharti Airtel.

The TZS14.6 billion ($7 million) purchase will see the Tanzanian government on track to “regain sole ownership of the company”, according to Deputy Minister for Communication, Science & Technology January Makamba.

The minister added that legal proceedings “are now being finalised for the government to buy back Airtel’s shares in TTCL”. The deal concludes 5 years of negotiations that have largely been frustrated by disputes over the stake’s value.

Airtel Tanzania was set up in 2010 following Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Zain’s African operations. This transaction included the 35% stake in TTCL, which was sold to Zain by the Tanzanian government in 2001.

With the second-largest economy in the East Africa region, Tanzania’s telecoms market is competitive with 7 operators. Airtel Tanzania is the second largest after Vodacom Tanzania.

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