Orange Completes Acquisition of Cellcom

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Orange announced last Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of 100 percent of Cellcom, one of Liberia’s leading mobile operators, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire.

Less than three months after signing the agreement with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited for the acquisition of its Liberian subsidiary, Orange has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete the transaction. Cellcom Liberia has 1.4 million customers, a release said.

Liberia will now become the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group. With a population of 4.3 million people and relatively low mobile penetration rate (66 percent of the population), the country has a high-growth potential for Orange.

According to the release, over the next few months, Liberian customers will benefit from the arrival of Orange, one of Africa’s leading players in the telecoms’ industry. Orange will provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the operator’s established network and enhance customer service.

This acquisition is part of the international development strategy of Orange, which aims to accelerate growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential. This will enable Orange to strengthen its positions in Africa, where almost one in ten people are already customers.

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 98,000 employees in France.
Present in 29 countries, including Liberia, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 200 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multi-national companies, under the brand Orange Business Services.

Orange subsidiary Sonatel has announced plans to open a joint network operations center in Dakar, Senegal, on 1 February 2016, from which to manage its networks in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

The project will include Orange’s subsidiaries in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo; all core network and platform services for all Orange affiliates in sub-Saharan Africa.

The facility will be opened on a build, operate, transfer basis by a third party and once built will be partly transferred to Orange Cote d’Ivoire. Huawei is providing the infrastructures for two sites in Dakar and Abidjan, with the headquarters to be in Dakar. Sonatel said the joint network operation centre is part of its AMEA Network Optimization transformation project. Sonatel said it was too soon to discuss who will be its outsourcer.

Listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN), Orange first announced the African network monitoring plan in July.

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