French telecommunications firm Orange, together with its subsidiary Orange Côte d'Ivoire, has announced the acquisition of 100% of the mobile operator Airtel in Burkina Faso.
In a statement the telco said it has acquired all necessary approvals since the agreement was first reached with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV ("Airtel") in January 2016.
According to Orange, Airtel is the second largest mobile operator in Burkina Faso, with close to 4.6 million customers (on the basis of active customers within a 30-day period).
The French telco has also referenced the roll out of Airtel's 3.75G network said to cover 100 towns.
"On the mobile financial services market, Airtel is the uncontested leader and is already interoperable with Orange Money in neighbouring countries allowing international transfers to be made. Airtel is also positioned as the country's leading Internet provider thanks to its extensive 3.75G network, which has been rolled out in over 100 towns," according to Orange.
Burkina Faso is the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange Group. The telco looks to leverage the West African country's population of 18 million, an 80% mobile penetration rate and its economic standing within ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
"This acquisition in one of the countries with the strongest growth rates in the Economic Community of West African States (5.8% annual growth of GDP) strengthens Orange's presence in Africa by confirming is proactive strategy in the African market," Orange adds.
Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group and Chairman & CEO of Orange MEA (Middle East and Africa), stated: "We are pleased to announce that the acquisition of the mobile operator Airtel in Burkina Faso has been finalised. This new acquisition will further strengthen the Group's positions on the African continent."
In April this year Orange announced the acquisition of 100% of Liberian mobile operator Cellcom, less than three months after an agreement signed with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited for the acquisition of its Liberian subsidiary, via Orange Côte d'Ivoire.