Orange will acquire Cellcom Liberia through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire, to strengthen its position in Africa, which it says is a “strategic priority” for the group.
Orange believes its marketing expertise and technical capability can “strengthen the operator, enhance services to consumers and contribute to the economic growth in the country Liberia”.
The price was not disclosed.
The move is part of Orange’s “international development strategy” which aims to accelerate growth by entering emerging markets with high potential. It has also been looking to acquire other assets in the region.
Liberia is a country of over 4.3 million inhabitants and has a mobile penetration rate of 66 per cent, lower than in many neighbouring countries, Orange notes.
Cellcom’s employees will remain involved in the business to “ensure a smooth integration, support performance and continue long-standing relations with the government of Liberia”, Orange said.
The completion of the transaction is subject to approval by relevant authorities.
Orange’s announcement says Cellcom is the country’s leading operator (although estimated data from GSMA Intelligence says Cellcom is Liberia’s number two operator in terms of connections, with 1.13 million connections compared to 1.33 million from MTN’s Lonestar). The two are significantly ahead of smaller rivals.