Tigo Senegal dispute nears settlement
Millicom International Cellular has announced that it and the Republic of Senegal have reached an agreement in principle to settle amicably their dispute over the validity of Millicom’s license in Senegal.
Millicom said in a statement that this settlement is subject to the signing of final documentation between Millicom and the Republic of Senegal, as well as the publication of an amended license.
Under this agreement, the validity of Millicom’s Senegal subsidiary’s license will be recognised by both parties. In addition, Millicom will be granted a 3G license, an alignment of its license terms with those of the other operators (meaning that Millicom will receive licenses to offer fixed line, WiMAX and cable TV services for instance), some additional spectrum and a 10-year extension of the term of its current license until 2028. Millicom has agreed to pay USD103 million to the government of the Republic of Senegal for these additional license rights and spectrum. The USD103 million will be paid in several instalments between closing of the agreement and December 2013.
In conjunction with the announcement, both parties are asking for a 3-month suspension of the ongoing arbitration proceedings, initiated in 2008 before the ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes), in order to finalize the documentation needed for the transaction to close.
Mikael Grahne, Millicom CEO commented: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the newly elected government of the Republic of Senegal in a way that will be beneficial to both parties involved, as well as to the people of Senegal and our Tigo customers. An amicable settlement has always been the preferred solution for Millicom.
This agreement will enable us to enrich our product offering in Senegal over the next 16 years with the addition of new services, including 3G mobile internet and mobile financial services that we are now offering successfully in Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and DRC. In Senegal, as in all our markets, we want Tigo to strive to offer innovative products and services that are relevant to our customers.”