France Telecom seals Congo Chine Telecom deal


France Telecom announced on 31 October 2011that it has finalized the acquisition of Congolese operator Congo Chine Telecom. The deal means France Telecom will own 51% of the company’s stake with the remaining 49% owned by the government.

The French company said in a press statement, that the move is part of expansion efforts and reflects France Telecom-Orange’s international strategy, which aims to stimulate growth by entering high potential emerging markets.

“The acquisition of CCT is an important step in our policy of expansion outside Europe, and contributes to our stated aim of doubling our revenues in Africa and the Middle East by 2015. Orange is already present in over 20 countries in the region and has built up considerable experience developing networks and new services that are specifically tailored to the needs of local markets,” Stephane Richard, France Telecom-Orange CEO and Chairman said in a press statement.

France Telecom will initially pay $10 million followed by a $7 million second payment to the Chinese company for the take over. France Telecom-Orange will also deliver to CCT a capital increase of $185 million in order to finance its operations.

Infrastructure and other services will be provided to CCT by ZTE, France Telecom-Orange has referred to the vendor as a preferred supplier. In addition, China Development Bank will provide strategic financing support.

A statement from France Telecom-Orange promises that the French firm will contribute its marketing, commercial and technical expertise as well as the Orange brand, to leverage CCT’s solid network assets.

The operator acknowledges CCT’s real potential for growth over the next few years, noting the DRC – the fourth most populous African country – has a small penetration rate of just 17% despite its population of 70 million.