Telecommunications giants Orange and Airtel have entered into an exclusive agreement to explore the possible acquisition by Orange of Airtel’s subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone.
According to a release, Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014, is listed on the Euronext Paris and on the New York Stock Exchange. Wirth a presence in 29 countries, as at March 31 this year the company had 155,000 employees worldwide, with 98,000 in France.
The Group has a total customer base of 247 million customers worldwide as at 31 March 2015, including 188 million mobile customers and 16 million fixed broadband customers. ‘Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customers’ needs at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks,’ the release states in part.
Meanwhile, Airtel, the company that wants to board off its 5 African subsidies, has over 328 million customers benefitting from its products that include among others, 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services. Headquartered in India, the company has a presence across 20 African countries and also offers fixed line, m-commerce and DSL broadband services. Acquisitions of telecoms in the region are common and of recent both Orange and Airtel have been active on the Uganda market, but the French telecommunications giant sold its stake to Africell, while Airtel acquired the interests of Warid Telecom about two years ago.