today's Pick
Orange hires adviser for Uganda exit
Publish Date: Mar 06, 2014
Orange hires adviser for Uganda  exit
  • mail
  • img
newvision

French operator Orange has mandated Lazard to find a buyer for its mobile telecoms business in Uganda, hot on the heels of the sale of Warid Telecom’s local unit to Bharti Airtel, sources told TMT Finance.

Orange is thought to be planning an exit from several markets in Africa where it does not already hold a number one or two spot. Aside from Uganda, which is thought to be the only geography where an official process is underway, this could also include Orange’s mobile businesses in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger, among others.

Uganda’s mobile market is dominated by MTN and Bharti Airtel. The latter acquired the third largest operator Warid Telecom for around US$100m from the Abu Dhabi Group in May 2013. MTN has around 8.5 million subscribers in Uganda, while post-merger, Airtel has over 7.5 million. The next largest is Uganda Telecom’s UT Mobile unit, with Orange Uganda among the country's smaller operators.

According to sources, the most logical buyer of the Orange Uganda unit could be MTN. The South African operator has previously been vocal about consolidation in the country, and will be keen to firm up its number one position, with second place Airtel gaining valuable ground. While Airtel is also clearly in acquisition mode across Africa, sources said it was unlikely the Indian telco would make a move for Orange Uganda so soon after its Warid buyout.

With such a crowded market, consolidation will be the most likely outcome, although there could also be interest from newcomers, sources commented. Vodacom is thought to have made a bid for Warid Telecom Uganda, before losing out to Bharti Airtel, and although Orange Uganda is substantially smaller, the unit could give Vodacom a footstep in a market where it clearly sees potential.

Next up for Orange could be the sale of its mobile unit in Kenya, formerly Telkom Kenya Orange, which has been struggling against larger rivals Vodafone-backed Safaricom and Bharti Airtel’s local unit, with continual losses which are unlikely to plateau until 2016 at the earliest.

A decision by Orange to exit the market could be accelerated following the news that fourth place Essar’s yuMobile will be sold and split between Orange’s rivals, with Safaricom to buy yu’s infrastructure, and Airtel to get its 2.7 million subscribers.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Burkina gov
Burkina Faso's interim leaders were expected to unveil a new government lineup on Sunday, with the country anxious to see the extent of military influence under civilian President Michel Kafando....
Boko Haram gunmen kill 48 fish vendors
Boko Haram gunmen killed 48 fish vendors in Nigeria''s restive Borno State, near the border with Chad....
3000 evacuated after WWII bomb found in France
The 250-kilogramme (550-pound) bomb was found near the city's town hall during the building of a new metro line....
The Indonesian Football Association banned 12 players and officials who competed to score own-goals in a farcical match last month....
The city that has banned noisy suitcases
Famed for the serene silence of its timeless nooks and crannies, Venice is about to get even quieter ... by banning noisy suitcases on wheels....
President Yoweri Museveni has warned that if corruption in Uganda goes unchecked and unpunished, it would pose a serious threat to the country....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter