Millicom Open to M&A Deals in Latin America, Africa

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Millicom International Cellular SA, which has about 53 million mobile customers in Africa and Latin America, is open to making acquisitions to strengthen its existing markets, its chief executive officer said.

The carrier would focus on smaller takeovers in services and regions where it’s present, rather than expanding to new areas, Hans-Holger Albrecht said yesterday in an interview at a conference organized by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona.

Millicom, which operates under the Tigo brand, has expanded beyond mobile to TV, broadband and mobile financial services, while also partnering with Rocket Internet AG in Africa and Latin America. Millicom, controlled by Sweden’s Kinnevik Investment AB, merged its Colombian business with a local fixed-line operator UNE in August.

“If there’s a consolidation opportunity in Africa or Latin America we would look at it,” Albrecht said. “It’s probably more on the smaller side than on the bigger side, and it’s probably more for consolidation in markets rather than going to completely new business areas.”

Albrecht ruled out taking part in mergers or acquisitions in Mexico. He also said Millicom isn’t interested in Unitel, Angola’s biggest mobile-phone company that’s part of a group of assets put up for sale by Brazil’s Oi SA.

Millicom, based in Luxembourg, could look at expanding in areas such as entertainment, Albrecht said.

Shares of Millicom added 1.1 percent to 617.50 kronor at 9:05 a.m. in Stockholm. They have slipped 3.4 percent this year in Stockholm trading, valuing the carrier at 63 billion kronor ($8.5 billion).