Orange has stated that its Egyptian unit Mobinil will either sell a holding to a local partner or list up to 15% of its stock on the Cairo bourse.
In addition, Orange is acquiring an additional 9% holding in its Moroccan unit Meditel, bringing its total ownership to 49%. Chief executive Stephane Richard noted that the group may also look to expand in Tunisia.
The French group has divested holdings in some of its European units - including the UK, Switzerland and Portugal - in order to strengthen its focus on growth markets such as Africa and the Middle East. In fact, there have been reports that Orange could spin off its emerging markets business entirely as a means of encouraging investment in these regions.
“I’m thinking of Tunisia, I’m thinking of Morocco. So there is organic growth which is still an engine for us,” said Richard. “We will try and be very active in terms of M&A to expand our footprint in Africa.”
Across the Middle East and Africa regions, Orange has around 100 million subscribers. Its major markets are Egypt - where it owns 99% of Mobinil – along with Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.