Telecom giant Millicom International Cellular announced Tuesday that it would acquire Amnet Telecommunications Holding Limited, a leading Central American provider of broadband Internet and cable television, for $510 million.
Amnet is Costa Rica’s leading cable provider and a major provider of high-speed Internet through a partnership with stateowned Internet provider Radiográfica Costarricense, more commonly known as RACSA.
Millicom, based in Luxembourg, already has a strong presence in the region. Operating under the Tigo brand, the company is the leading cell phone operator in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Millicom will be able to expand its services in Costa Rica beyond those offered by Amnet once the state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute’s telecom monopoly is opened to competition. Under the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States, Costa Rica has agreed to open to private competition cell phone, broadband Internet and private data services.
This will be Millicom’s second venture into Costa Rica. The company was forced to leave the country in 1995 after the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) in 1993 declared the company’s cell phone service concession illegal (TT, April 8, 1994).