Orange to sell Uganda stake to Africell

Orange-logo-300x300.jpgFrench incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.

Uganda is a highly competitive market; eight operators currently serve a population of around 36 million. Some opportunity for growth remains, with WCIS Plus putting total subscriptions at 21.85 million at the end of the first quarter. The Orange operation is some way off the pace, however, with just 692,000 subscriptions at the end of 1Q14. This puts it in fifth place, behind MTN (9.55 million), Airtel (4.96 million), Uganda Telecom (3.57 million) and Warid Uganda (3.03 million).

Orange said that the move was part of a “portfolio optimisation strategy” and that it remains committed to its business in Africa and the Middle East.

Figures from Informa’s World Cellular Investors Service show that Africa is the firm’s largest market by subscriber numbers. African operations in which it has shareholdings had a combined subscriber count of 91.70 million at the end of 2013, with Orange’s proportional subscriptions in the region totalling 62.77 million.

The 2nd annual LTE Africa conference is taking place on the 11th-13th November 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Click here to download the brochure for the event.

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