Orange offloads Niger business - Mobile World Live

Orange offloads Niger business

25 NOV 2019

Orange sold off its Niger division for an undisclosed fee, ending a turbulent period for the operator in the country.

In a statement, Orange said it sold its 95.5 per cent stake to Zamani Com S.A.S., which is owned by Orange Niger minority shareholders Mohamed Rissa and Moctar Thiam.

The French operator was ordered to close offices by the Niger government in 2018, over a XOF22 billion ($36.9 million) tax claim.

Orange disputed the tax claim, stating at the time the figure represented more than half of its revenue in the country, adding 52,000 jobs would be indirectly affected if it pulled out of the market.

In Q3, Orange hailed its Africa and Middle East businesses for being the largest contributors to group revenue, offsetting declines in France and Spain. However, in its earnings statement, it singled out Niger for not contributing to its overall growth.

GSMA Intelligence figures for Q3 placed Orange Niger as the third-largest player in the market by connections (including cellular IoT), with 2.6 million, behind Airtel (4.7 million) and Moov (2.9 million).

Services will continue to be marketed under the Orange brand during a transition period.

Despite the sale, the operator in a statement insisted Africa and Middle East remained “a strategic priority” for the group.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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