Africa-focused Axian Telecom inked a deal to up its ownership of joint venture Free Senegal to 80 per cent, with the company set to financially consolidate the unit into its wider organisation should it gain regulatory approval.

Free Senegal, previously branded Tigo, was bought by Axian Telecom and its partners in the Saga Africa Holdings consortium from Millicom in 2018. Other members of the consortium were NJJ Capital, controlled by Iliad founder Xavier Niel and Teyliom Group.

In a statement outlining its intent to grab a majority stake in Free Senegal, Axian Telecom noted it previously owned 40 per cent, with the increased interest paving the way for it to control the operation and financially consolidate it.

The company did not provide financial terms of the proposed deal.

Axian Telecom chairman Hassanein Hiridjee thanked its partners “for their important role in developing Free in Senegal since 2018 and for their support for this transaction”.

“This additional investment reflects our continued confidence in the thriving economy of Senegal, and increases our footprint in West African markets.”

Alongside Senegal, the company has interests in eight other markets including Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Axian Telecom claims to be the seventh-largest mobile operator group in Africa with 36 million customers.