MTN on the Edge As Orange Moves To Quit Africa

Tmtfinance, information pills a reputable media outlet reported Thursday that Orange has mandated Lazard, rx the world’s leading financial advisory and asset management firm 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.

Lazard advises on mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, capital structure and strategy.

“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,” reported Tmtfinance.

Efforts to reach Orange publicist, Patience Tindyebwa for a comment were futile as her known mobile phone was switched off.

It is widely believed that MTN Uganda will take Orange to consolidate its stronghold on the Ugandan market.


Observers say the move is likely to create a monopoly of two giant telecoms in the industry thus exploiting subscribers.

Bharti Airtel, a global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, revealed on April 23, 2013 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to fully acquire Warid Telecom Uganda.

It is also possible that MTN, which has been struggling with poor network for calls and mobile money transactions, could be fearing losing its large market share to Airtel thus planning to acquire Orange.

Airtel has in recent years been able to roll up its sleeves in customer care, marketing and providing excellent and cheaper internet bundles compared to MTN.

Airtel recently acquired the Uganda Cranes promotion franchise, winning hearts of millions of sports fans.

It remains unclear why MTN chose to let go of the sports deal.

It is important to note that Airtel boats 7.2 million subscribers and with good marketing, it could easily wrestle MTN from the top position of 8.5 million subscribers.

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