|Digicel buys out Voilá|
|Friday, 06 April 2012 09:25|
Mobile telecommunications company, Digicel Group, has widened its grasp on the Haitian market with the recent purchase of main competitor, Voilá Comcel.
With 3.5 million customers and 900 employees, Digicel already is the country's largest mobile phone operator and private sector employer. The acquiring of Voilá will extend Digicel's customer reach by nearly one million.
According to a statement released by Digicel, the two companies will continue to operate separately, but with Bryan Gonzales, corporate affairs and human resources director for Digicel Haiti, taking the lead at Voilà. Other details about the future ramifications for Voilá however have not been released yet, including the fate of Voilá's 600 employees – although Digicel Group spokeswoman Antonia Graham promises "business as usual for both companies."
"As proud Haitian companies, Digicel and Voila share one very important thing in common; we are both deeply committed to ensuring our respective customers benefit from the best mobile experience," pledged Digicel Group CEO Colm Delves.
The cost of purchase has not been released, but both sides have been in negotiations for months. Voilà has been struggling to fend off Digicel's rise since entering the market in 2005. Within 11 years, Digicel has grown into the Caribbean's most profitable mobile operator, with 11 million users in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific.
Haiti however remains Digicel's largest and most lucrative market. Digicel has invested over US$600 million in its Haitian operations. Meanwhile, Digicel owner Denis O'Brien also spearheaded many rebuilding efforts, including the restoration of the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince and the establishment of the Digicel Haiti Foundation, which built 70 schools for 30,000 children.
Only Natcom, a joint venture created in 2010 to replace the failed, state-run Haiti Teleco, still stands as Digicel's mobile phone competitor.