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Millicom says ‘Ola’ to Columbia

Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has emerged as the winner of a controlling stake in third placed Columbian operator, Columbia Movil, which operates under the Ola brand.

Millicom has acquired a 50 per cent plus 1 share controlling stake in the Columbian operator for a consideration of $125m. Including this initial equity contribution, Millicom expects to invest a total of approximately $200m in Colombia Movil within the next three years.

Ola has an estimated 9 per cent mobile market share in a country of over 43 million people.

Ola’s founding shareholders, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota and EPM Telecomunicaciones, will retain an interest of 50 per cent minus 1 share minority stake. Millicom will appoint four out of the seven board members and will have day-to-day management control of the business.

Marc Beuls, president and CEO of MIC, said: “The purchase of Colombia Movil doubles Millicom’s population under license in our highly successful Latin American region.we would expect the business to start contributing to Millicom’s EBITDA during 2007.”

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