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Licence dispute settled in Senegal

A major operator in Senegal has resolved its legal dispute with the West African country’s new government. The Senegal subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular S.A. will now have its licence recognised by both parties.

The settlement is subject to the signing of final documentation between Millicom and the Republic of Senegal, as well as the publication of an amended licence. Following the signing, Millicom will also be granted a 3G license, an alignment of its licence terms with those of the other operators (meaning that Millicom will receive licences to offer fixed line, WiMAX and cable TV services), some additional spectrum and a 10-year extension of the term of its current licence until 2028.

The operator will in turn pay USD103 million to the government of the Republic of Senegal for these additional licence rights and spectrum. The sum will be provided in several instalments between closing of the agreement and December 2013.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, both parties are asking for a 3-month suspension of the ongoing arbitration proceedings, initiated in 2008 before the ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes), in order to finalise the documentation needed for the transaction to close.

Mikael Grahne, Millicom CEO, noted that the “amicable settlement” would “be beneficial to both parties involved, as well as to the people of Senegal and our Tigo customers”. He added that Millicom would now seek to provide in Senegal the “3G mobile internet and mobile financial services that we are now offering successfully in Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and DRC.”

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