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Airtel sells Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone operations to Orange

Hard on the heals of its deal to acquire Cellcom Liberia, Orange is further strengthening its African portfolio by buying Airtel's operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecommunications firm, has signed a deal with French owned Orange that will see the latter acquire Airtel’s operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

Orange will acquire a 100 per cent stake in the share capital of the two companies, which have a consolidated revenue of around EUR275 million. The acquisitions will be implemented in partnership with Orange's subsidiaries in Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal, with the outlay representing the equivalent of 7.9 times Airtel's EBITDA in these two countries, according to an Airtel statement.

The completion of the deals is subject to approval by the competent authorities, but should it go through as expected Orange will reinforce its presence in Africa by adding nearly 5.5 million customers to its mobile customer base.

The companies initially signed an agreement in July last year regarding the potential acquisition of Airtel's operations in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Chad and Congo Brazzaville, though the latter two have lapsed.

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