Vodafone has bought a 70 per cent stake in Ghana Telecom from the Ghanaian government for $900 million (£452 million), valuing Ghana Telecom at $1.3 billion.
Ghana Telecom is the number three mobile player in Ghana, with around 17 per cent market share. It also has a monopoly on the national fixed-line market. The Government of Ghana will retain a 30 per cent stake in the company.
Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin (pictured) said: "Ghana is one of the most attractive markets in Africa, with mobile subscribers growing at more than 55 per cent per annum and mobile penetration of around 35 per cent.
"I expect our investment will generate substantial benefits for Vodafone and for the Ghanaian economy."
Vodafone cited the young population and Ghana’s good economic prospects, boosted by new-found oil fields, as reasons for investment in the market. It said $500 million will be invested in the next five years.
Vodafone will replicate its roll out of infrastructure, products and services to emerging markets such as India and Kenya. It wants a 25 per cent share of the Ghanaian market, but refused to put a time frame on the target.
Ghana Telecom reported revenues of $290 million, up 9.3 per cent, in the year ended December 31, 2007, with profits of $42 million.