MIC employs Morgan Stanley to help with sale of assets

Last month MIC claimed that it had received several unsolicited takeover bids, and is now considering offloading its operations, covering territories in Africa, Latin America and Asia, having brought in Morgan Stanley as advisors.

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By  Alex Ritman Published  February 19, 2006

Millicom International Cellular, the Luxembourg-based operator with assets across several continents has said it is entering a process of due diligence to contemplate selling its worldwide operations. Last month MIC claimed that it had received several unsolicited takeover bids, and is now considering offloading its operations, covering territories in Africa, Latin America and Asia, having brought in Morgan Stanley as advisors. “Millicom is an interesting case,” admits Marten Pieters, CEO of pan-African mobile operator Celtel International. “Because it has a portfolio of assets all over the world, of very different qualities. Some of the assets are very good quality, others are a little bit shaky.” Pieters acknowledged that a lot of operators have been looking at Millicom’s assets, but is doubtful that one will swallow it whole. “To be honest I do not see a real fit for the whole portfolio with another operator.” He believes that different operators will go for separate pieces of the whole operation, and that if this could happen further down the line in the selling process, it could be of interest to Celtel. “We are looking at that, but just to give an example, we are not interested in Latin America. So we will try to see whether we can do something with maybe some other assets. We will have to see how that works, because from what I understand they have put the whole company up for sale.” One possibility for this to work for Celtel is if a large investor were to buy out the whole of Millicom, and sell individual assets to interested parties. “We’ll see further down the road in this process,” Pieters says. MTC, Celtel’s new parent, is likely to be an interested in at least some of MIC’s assets. Recent results from MIC showed that global revenues reached US$1.08 billion in 2005, up 18% on 2004 figures. Operating in seven African countries, MIC has a total population under licence of 146 million in the continent. In December 2005 it had 2 million subscribers in Africa.

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