Orange Uganda is looking for a buyer as the French telecom prepares it’s exist from the African market.
According to TMT Finance and Investment, Orange is thought to be planning an exit from several markets in Africa where it does not already hold a number one or two spot. Orange has operations in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger along side Uganda.
In Uganda Orange is ranked number three as MTN and Airtel dominate the telecom market, as the latter acquired Warid Telecom last year. MTN subscribers are estimated to be 8.5 million while Airtel is at 7.5 million. The next largest is Uganda Telecom’s UT Mobile unit, making Orange Uganda among the smaller operators with K2 Telecom, Smile Communications and Sure Telecom.
According to TMT’s sources, the most logical buyer of Orange Uganda would be MTN. MTN is a South African operator who is vocal about consolidation in Uganda because it is keen to firm up its number one position.
Although Airtel is also clearly in acquisition mode across Africa, it is unlikely for it to go in for Orange Uganda after it’s Warid buyout. Other players talked about like Vodacom who had bided for Warid Telecom and lost to Airtel Uganda.
In line to follow Uganda is Kenya’s Orange mobile unit formerly Telkom Kenya Orange, which has been struggling against larger rivals Vodafone-backed Safaricom and Bharti Airtel’s local unit, with continual losses which are unlikely to plateau until 2016 at the earliest.