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July 3, 2008

Vodafone takes control of Ghana Telecom

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by David Allen

Vodafone has paid $900 million (£452 million) for a 70% stake in Ghana Telecom.

The move continues the UK-based network operator’s expansion into emerging markets.

Over the next five years Vodafone plans to invest $500m in the company to improve its operations and network.

Africa is a very attractive market for mobile operators as the majority of the population has yet to buy a phone, making it fertile ground to find new customers.

Vodafone already has a majority stake in Vodafone Egypt, and owns 40% of Safaricom in Kenya.

Ghana is currently a lucrative market, with mobile subscription numbers increasing by 55% every year.

Ghana Telecom is one of three major networks in the country, with a 17% market share and 1.4 million customers.

Despite Vodafone’s excitement about the purchase, the company’s share price fell by more than 1% following the news of the acquisition.

The remaining 30% of Ghana Telecom remains the property of the country’s government.

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