Orange has confirmed that it will sell its 100% stake in Orange Armenia to local ISP Ucom.
The operator said that the deal would “enable the creation of a strong convergent Armenian player, capable of offering its customers a broad range of fixed and mobile services”.
Orange acquired a mobile licence for Armenia in 2009 and has operated its subsidiary in the country since then. It has invested around $700 million in its network, which offers 3G+ coverage in the capital of Yerevan as well as extended rural coverage.
While the agreed amount has not been revealed, Orange is reportedly not expected to make back its entire investment. The operator group began negotiations last month after deciding that its Armenian unit lacked “the necessary scale to carry out by itself the massive investments to enable it to offer its customers convergent services”.
Orange Armenia is the country’s smallest operator, with its 630,000 customers giving it a market share of 18%. It tails behind MTS-owned VivaCell (60%) and VimpelCom-owned Beeline (22%).