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Orascom Telecom acquires Namibia’s Cell One

Egyptian operator expands presence in Africa through latest acquisition

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom has acquired Namibian mobile operator Cell One from Telecom Management Partner Holdings, for $59 million.

The acquisition, which Orascom made through its subsidiary Telecel Globe, gives the operator access to a market of 1.2 million people and a mobile penetration rate of less than 50%.

Cell One, which competes with larger rival MTC in Namibia, operates a GSM 900/1800 network and has 198,000 subscribers, giving it a market share of about 20%, according to Orascom.

Kai Uebach, CEO, Telecel Globe, said he is confident Cell One is well positioned to expand its mobile voice and data services. “Telecel Globe expects the investment in Cell One to have a positive effect on the brand, the customers and Namibia as a whole. This investment will further strengthen the traditionally good relationship and mutual trust between Namibia and Egypt,” he said.

“This acquisition will further enable Cell One to grow its customer base and deliver both essential services and groundbreaking communication solutions for the Namibian market.”

Telecel Globe has already paid $32 million in cash for Cell One, with the balance due in January 2010.

Orascom established Telecel Globe in 2008 to explore emerging investment opportunities in Africa and Asia.