Orange Group is reportedly exploring a potential sale of its 40 per cent stake in Mauritius Telecom, a move which would mark its exit from the market as it looks to sharpen focus on core assets.

According to Bloomberg, the European operator had entered talks with financial advisers but has yet to formally discuss with Mauritius Telecom’s board regarding its interest in a potential share buyback.

Orange has a 40 per cent stake in Mauritius Telecom, with the majority 59 per cent stake held by the government through the State Bank of Mauritius’ investment arm and the National Pensions Fund.

The remaining 1 per cent shares were sold to “eligible employees and pensioners” in 2007, according to the company’s shareholders disclosure page.

Bloomberg’s sources claim Orange no longer considers Mauritius Telecom as a core asset, but added the French operator may choose to keep its investment in the company “for longer” as discussions are still at its early stage. A deal could be announced in November.

Orange bought its stake in Mauritius Telecom in 2000 when it was still operating as France Telecom.  The Mauritian carrier adopted the Orange brand for all its services until 2017, when it rebranded its line of products as My.t.

It launched a mobile money platform My.t Money in 2019.

People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg Mauritius Telecom’s rebrand made Orange’s shareholding “less strategic”, noting Orange’s minority stake “also means less influence in the nation”.