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Orange Acquires Tigo DRC

Orange has announced it has completed the acquisition of 100 per cent of mobile operator Tigo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Millicom agreed to sell Orange its DRC operations, Tigo - which has 6 million subscribers - in February this year. The deal was subject to regulatory approval and Orange has now announced the completion of the transaction.

Orange is highlighting the growth potential of the DRC market. According to the company the acquisition was influenced by the fact that the mobile market in the DRC is currently the second largest in Central and West Africa after Nigeria and is experiencing significant growth. With a population of 80 million, and a mobile penetration rate of only 50 per cent, Orange said the growth potential for the company in DRC is “considerable”.

“We are extremely happy to announce the completion of the acquisition of Tigo by Orange DRC in a market marked by very strong growth potential. Through this strategic investment, Orange confirms its ambition to reinforce its presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and accelerate the conditions in which it can develop its services through this consolidation,” said Bruno Mettling, deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of Orange in charge of operations in Africa and the Middle East.

Orange claims that one in ten people in Africa are already its customers, and says the current acquisition is demonstrative of the company’s development strategy aimed at establishing itself as market leader in its African markets.

The deal follows a string of transactions by Orange in the first quarter of the year aimed at expanding its presence in high growth emerging markets. In January, Airtel agreed to the sale of its Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone operations to Orange; while earlier this month Orange completed the acquisition of Liberia’s Cellcom.

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