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Orange expands to Burkina Faso with Airtel acquisition

Orange has agreed to acquire Airtel’s mobile operation in Burkina Faso, expanding its footprint in Africa & the Middle East to twenty countries.

The agreement was initially announced in January, with Orange now having attained the official approval required to close the deal. No sum has been revealed but analysts have valued the deal at around €652 million.

When the agreement was originally announced in January, the operator also announced that it would acquire Airtel’s operations in Sierra Leone, but it has not offered any further news on this. This is significant as Orange’s negotiations with Airtel over the acquisition of the latter’s units in Chad and Congo Brazzaville have fallen through.

“This new acquisition will further strengthen the group’s position on the African continent,” said Bruno Mettling, deputy CEO and chairman and CEO of Orange MEA. A company statement praised Airtel’s successful MFS offering which is compatible with Orange Money, as well as its 3.75G network covering 100 towns.

Airtel is the number two operator in Burkina Faso with around 4.6 million customers. The country has a population of around 18 million and can claim a mobile penetration rate of approximately 80%. 

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