Orange eyes Liberia’s telecom firm after exiting Telkom Kenya

Wednesday January 13 2016

A man walks past Orange Telkom shop on Koinange Street in Nairobi on June 17, 2013. Orange is making moves to acquire a Liberian telecom firm, two months after it announced the sale of its 70 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |

A man walks past an Orange Telkom shop on Koinange Street in Nairobi on June 17, 2013. Orange is making moves to acquire a Liberian telecom firm, two months after it announced the sale of its 70 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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Orange is making moves to acquire a Liberian telecom firm, two months after it announced the sale of its 70 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya.

The French telecom firm announced on Tuesday that it had entered into agreement with “Cellcom Telecommunications Limited to acquire, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire, 100 per cent of Cellcom’s Liberia subsidiary”.

Orange now wants to try a chance in growing its footprints in Liberia, which has a mobile penetration of 66 per cent, after it failed in the Kenyan market.

“Orange will provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the network operator, enhance services to consumers and contribute to the economic growth of Liberia,” Orange said in a statement.

The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. The deal awaits regulatory approval.

Cellcom’s founders and employees will remain involved in the business to ensure continuity of the business.

A Liberian publication quoted the Liberia Telecoms Authority saying that the “the deal will be finalised on February 1, 2016.”

This acquisition is part of the international development strategy of Orange, which aims to accelerate its growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential.

With almost a half of the population lacking mobile phones, Orange believes strongly that its investment will play a positive role in growing its business in Africa.

In Kenya, Orange is yet to transfer its shares to private equity investment firm Helios, which replaces it at Telkom Kenya.