French telecommunications firm Orange has announced it has entered into a firm agreement with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited to acquire, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d'Ivoire, 100% of Cellcom's Liberia subsidiary.
According to a statement released by Orange, the telco said it will provide "its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the network operator, enhance services to consumers and contribute to the economic growth of Liberia".
The statement also mentioned that Cellcom's founders and 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 says the acquisition is part of its international development strategy, which aims to accelerate its growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential. The company describes Africa has a strategic priority.
In September 2015 the company announced the appointment of executives to lead its subsidiaries in Africa and the Middle East.
In October of the same year Orange announced the appointment of Bruno Mettling as deputy CEO in charge of operations in Africa and the Middle East. The company said the move was in line with its five-year operational plan which it has called Essentials2020.
Liberia is a country of over 4.3 million inhabitants, with a mobile penetration rate of 66%, lower than in many neighbouring countries, added Orange in its statement.
"With a national mobile license and its significant market share in the country in number of subscribers, Cellcom has excellent potential for growth over the coming years," the company says.
The completion of the transaction remains subject to approval by the competent authorities.