Orange to sell in Africa?

Investment

French telecoms company Orange could exit several of its less-profitable African operations, including those in Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic (CAF), as the group looks to rationalise its portfolio, website Jeune Afrique reports.

The operator is tipped to move out of its so-called “isolated” subsidiaries, following a declaration by CEO Stéphane Richard after the company sold its arm in the Dominican Republic to investment company Altice.

In Kenya, Orange is said to be eyeing a sale of its ownership in local operator Telkom, which it originally purchased for a reported US$270m, a sum which was apparently over-valued at the time. In 2012, Telkom made a loss of over US$70m, whilst predicting profits for 2016 at earliest.

In Uganda, the problem lies in the country’s fragmented structure, one source within Orange commented. Five operators currently operate in Uganda, including MTN, Bharti Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Orange and I-Tel Uganda.

Though Orange is thought to divest some of its African operations, it still seeks to maintain its positions in more profitable markets, such as in Botswana, or in Mauritania. Orange currently operates in over 18 countries in Africa and serves over 55 million customers in the region.

Source: tmtfinance - Published on 19.12.2013.