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Orange announces 100% takeover of Airtel in Sierra Leone

Orange announces 100% takeover of Airtel in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

French telecom giants, Orange, have announced a 100% takeover of mobile operator Airtel in Sierra Leone. Orange’s latest acquisition was together with its Senegal-based partner Sonatel. Sierra Leone becomes the 21st country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group.

According to Orange, since the signature of an agreement with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (“Airtel”) in January 2016, it obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete the transaction.

This is the second complete takeover by Orange in the west African region. Last month Orange and its Ivorian subsidiary announced the takeover of Airtel in Burkina Faso. It also follows the recent launch of operations in Liberia and Burkina Faso.

Airtel is the leading mobile operator in Sierra Leone with over 1.3 million customers (on the basis of active customers within a 30-day period) for a total population of 6.3 million people.

READ MORE Orange announces 100% takeover of Airtel in Burkina Faso

Orange said its investment plans in the coming years ‘‘will enable customers in Sierra Leone to benefit from the support of the Sonatel group and take advantage of the Orange group’s expertise and momentum in terms of innovation and development of the digital ecosystem.’‘

‘‘Airtel is the leading mobile operator in Sierra Leone with over 1.3 million customers (on the basis of active customers within a 30-day period) for a total population of 6.3 million people,’‘ Orange added.

According to records, Airtel has a mobile penetration of around 50% of the population. For Orange, Sierra Leone offers considerable growth potential, particularly at a time when significant investments are underway to extend the operator’s 3G network.

Airtel already offers good coverage in the Sierra Leonean capital and other major towns and was set to provide internet access to customers living outside major urban areas.

The investments planned in the coming years will enable customers in Sierra Leone to benefit from the support of the Sonatel group and take advantage of the Orange group’s expertise and momentum in terms of innovation and development of the digital ecosystem.