Orange has sold the majority holding in its Ugandan unit to Africell. The operator is offloading a number of its international assets as part of a streamlining review.
Africell has not disclosed how much it paid for the 95% stake. The acquisition enables the operator to expand into a fourth market; it already has operations in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
Orange Uganda had 618,000 subscribers in December 2013, and Africell has a long way to go if it wants to challenge market leader MTN’s 8.8 million connections. The group has over 9 million active subscribers across its operations, and was able to secure a 20% market share in DRC in under two years.
Africell Chairman and CEO Ziad Dalloul said: With a population of over 37 million and a penetration rate of 50%, Uganda was well within the criteria we had set to further expand in Africa, targeting high-potential and high-growth markets.”
Earlier this year, Orange sold its Orange Dominicana unit to Altice for €1.05 billion as part of what the group has termed an “asset portfolio optimisation strategy”.
Orange is reportedly also looking to divest itself of its 70% holding in Telkom Kenya. However, the group has stated that it considers Africa and the Middle East to be “strategic priorities.”