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Millicom Buys Out Shareholdings in Central America and Chad

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Millicom International says that it has purchased the remaining shares in two joint ventures, Navega in Central America and its business in Chad, for a proportional total of USD60 million. Millicom's joint venture Comcel in Guatemala now owns 100% of Navega and this business fully controls the fiber optic backbone rings for Millicom's mobile businesses in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Comcel will finance the acquisition locally in Guatemala.

Mario Zanotti, Chief Officer Latin America, commented, "Comcel and its partners created Navega in 2000 to provide our mobile businesses in Central America with fiber optic rings for backhaul and to provide access to submarine cables and the internet "cloud". By taking full control of the Navega business, Millicom will be able to ensure the quality and the timely availability for backbone transmission capacity for its three mobile businesses to benefit our end customer. This transaction will also benefit us by supporting the growing demand for access to the Internet as we expand our 3G broadband services".

Millicom has also reached agreement on the purchase of the remaining 12.5% in its joint venture in Chad. This business had 541,000 subscribers at Q4, 2008 and is today the number two operator in Chad with a 45% market share in a country with a mobile penetration of only 12% but a population of 10 million.

Mikael Grahne, Chief Executive, commented: "I am pleased that we have finalized these two purchases which we have been working on for some time. We continue to buy out the shareholdings of our partners in our operations when it brings incremental value to our own shareholders to do so."

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Tags: 3g  backhaul  submarine  millicom  fiber optic  Guatemala  Honduras  El Salvador  Chad