France Telecom closer to acquire Congo Chine Telecom
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has confirmed that France Telecom (FT) is the only bidder for its 49% stake in Congo Chine Telecom (CCT). Already in talks with Chinese vendor ZTE for its 51% share of the company, FT is expected to pay around EUR300 million (USD) in total for the operator, a reflection of its level of debt, rather than its value. Reuter reports that, Elie Girard, FT’s executive director said that this is an ‘important step, but not the final step of the process of the withdrawal of the state from CCT and the acquisition’. The move is part of a broader strategy from FT to increase its presence in emerging markets to offset increasing competition and declining revenues in Europe. France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard said that the company also looks to bolster its leadership in Egypt.