Orange is on the move to close business in several markets in Africa. As part of the official process, sources say Orange has contracted Lazard, a global financial advisory and asset management firm to find a buyer for its mobile telecoms business in Uganda and may thereafter do the same in Kenya, Nigeria and other markets on the continent.
It is believed that this move is motivated by Orange’s failure to penetrate its various playing markets beyond the #2 positions. In Uganda, the mobile market is dominated by MTN and Airtel, which is followed by UTL and lastly, Orange. Following ‘s recent acquisition of formerly third largest mobile operator, Warid, sources speculate that MTN is the most logical buyer which has previously been vocal about fortifying its presence in the country.
This buyout might come sooner than later, following recent reports that YuMobile, an Indian based mobile telecom company in Kenya will soon be sold and split between Orange’s rivals; Safaricom and Airtel in Kenya.
All that we can confirm is that Orange is on the lookout for partners to invest in the company, and they are unlikely to leave.
According to our internal sources at Orange we have confirmed that Orange Uganda is not selling at all but rather looking for partners to do business with in a shareholding capacity as they originally intended. Further MTN is not even in the picture contrary to the initial reports. Its business as usual at Orange Uganda.