France Telecom is officially no more in Uganda’s Telecom market and Africell, one of the fastest growing mobile telecommunications operators in Africa has taken over. These events unfolded during the course of the week after the negotiations with the ex employees who had sued Orange –a move that led to a court injunction which placed a halt on the sale. With the latest developments this means that the court has no more reason to halt the deal as well as UCC the regulator can finally give their blessing to this acquisition. However Orange Uganda Limited as a company still exists.
The transaction also been completed which means the acquisition of Orange Uganda is now final. Orange Uganda has about 700,000 voice subscribers, and over 1 million data customers all riding on the company’s 2G, 3G ,4G and WiMAX networks. Africell Holdings has now reached 11 million active subscribers in Africa , and has registered a 700% increase over five years, and expects to end the year with over 12 million subscribers.
According to Ziad Dalloul, Chairman & CEO of Africell, said:
“Africell’s acquisition of Orange Uganda presents a great opportunity for us to replicate the success we have achieved in other territories. This is an important strategic step for the company; this acquisition will add substantial growth to our portfolio which already includes the fastest growing network in DRC and another two operations with an uncontestable first rank in market share; in Gambia and Sierra Leone.”
Africell can use the Orange brand in Uganda for over 6 months to a year until they can rebrand to Africell. This will give them time to transit from most Orange based systems to their own. This means we shall still see the Orange brand for sometime in Uganda before the full re-branding is complete next year. The company anticipates gross revenues of over $270 million in 2014 to reach $350 million and $500 million respectively in 2015 and 2016.
News reaching our desks indicates that Africell has come to jerk up Uganda’s voice market. With the advent of Smart Telecom in the voice Market and with MTN and Airtel still leading this market with over 16 million subscribers combined, Africell has a steep hill to climb. You read our feature story on Africell here.