Millicom Cashes Out Of Tigo, Sells 100% Stake To Orange

It is a season of acquisitions in the African telecoms market. Three months ago, MTN Nigeria announced 100% take over of Visafone Nigeria. The wind has entered the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s, DRC.

Millicom [OTCMKTS: MIICF], owners of Tigo, DRC’s leading mobile network, has just sold its 100% stake in the company to Orange SA [EPA: ORA]. According to a press release by Orange Telecom, the deal is coming “less than three months after signing an agreement with Millicom

Orange is of the belief that “the mobile market in the DRC is undergoing significant growth and is currently the largest mobile market in Central and West Africa, after Nigeria. With a population of more than 80 million people and a relatively low mobile penetration rate of 50% of the population, the country offers considerable growth potential for Orange. The consolidation of Orange’s and Tigo’s operations in the DRC will enable Orange to strengthen its presence in the country.

Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange in charge of Operations in Africa and the Middle East, said: “We are extremely happy to announce the completion of the acquisition of Tigo by Orange DRC in a market marked by very strong growth potential. Through this strategic investment, Orange confirms its ambition to reinforce its presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and accelerate the conditions in which it can develop its services through this consolidation.”

Orange’s influence in Africa is waxing strong. With more market share than any network in Francophone Africa, Orange is gradually shaping up to confront MTN, the continent largest network. The two countries are currently joint shareholders in Africa Internet Group, AIG.

Tigo is present in 6 African countries. The company provides telecoms, mobile money and media services in different markets it operates including Hispanic America. It is unclear if Millicom will be exiting more markets in Africa.

The company’s 2015 full year revenue is estimated at USD 7.5 billion. Its current staff headcount is about 13,800 people.