Home / Orascom sells Ivory Coast arm for US$45 million

Orascom sells Ivory Coast arm for US$45 million

Egyptian regional telecoms group, Orascom Telecom, has sold its controlling stake in the Ivory Coast’s GSM operator, Telecel Loteny, for US$45 million.

Egyptian regional telecoms group, Orascom Telecom, has sold its controlling stake in the Ivory Coast’s GSM operator, Telecel Loteny, for US$45 million.

The move, part of Orascom’s streamlining of its international operations, will see it disposing of the 51.7% equity holding it acquired in the operator in 2000 through its ownership of African telecoms group, Telecel International.

Orascom forecasts that its consolidated net debt will decrease by over US$140 million on a pro forma basis once the sale is completed.

The group says it grew Telecel Loteny’s subscriber base from 155,000 subscribers in 2000 to 599,000 in December 2003, a 386% increase.

Telecel International, which is 100% owned by Orascom, agreed to sell its entire stake in Telecel Loteny.

In addition, the unnamed purchaser has committed to a renewable three-year agreement to use Telecel’s licences and trademarks.

The transaction is expected to be completed upon receipt of third party consent within 90 days, according to Orascom.

The move follows Orascom’s clear-out of several other Telecel divisions in Africa and the sale of Jordanian mobile operator, Fastlink, last year.

The group bought Telecel for US$413 million in 2000 but has since shifted the main thrust of its international strategy to other markets, such as Algeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq.

After the completion of the sale of Telecel Loteny, Orascom will continue to hold four sub-Saharan GSM mobile service operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Zimbabwe and Chad.

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