By Iminza Keboge
Published February 8, 2016
A French telecommunications company has acquired Tigo mobile service provider in Congo-Kinshasa.
France Telecom, that trades in Africa as Orange, signed a buy-out agreement with Millicom, the parent company that owns Tigo DRC, on February 8, 2016.
The buy-out is said to be in line with France Telecom’s strategy of developing and maintaining leading competitive positions across its various countries of operations in Africa.
Through the deal–that is subject to approval from relevant competent authorities–Orange will not only reinforce its presence in the central African country, but will also become one of the leading mobile operators in the country besides creating what pundits describe as ‘positive synergies’.
The mobile market in Congo-Kinshasa is said to be undergoing significant growth. With more than 40 million subscribers, it is touted as being the largest mobile market in Central and West Africa after Nigeria.
“Tigo DRC is a perfect fit for Orange, given the complementarity of their operations both from a geographical and cultural standpoint,” Orange says in a Press statement issued in the French capital, Paris.
Orange appears to be on a buying spree in west and central Africa. Over the first five weeks of 2016 alone, Orange has acquired telecom companies in Ivory Coast, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Congo-Kinshasa.
These buy-outs are said to be in line with Orange’s international development strategy, which places a priority on accelerating growth in high-potential, emerging markets where the Group is not already present.
By March 31, 2016 when Orange is expected to complete its telecom operators buy-out across Africa, it will have footprint in 20 countries on the mother continent. It would have been more had the company not sold its 70% stake in Kenya Telekom in East Africa at the end of 2015.