Reports from Algeria suggest that the country’s second national wireline licensee, Lacom, is planning to exit the market after sustaining heavy losses. Local press suggest that the firm’s management is looking for a way of folding up the company without incurring further losses as it is now facing bankruptcy. The Lacom consortium consisting of Egyptian telcos Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt won Algeria’s second national fixed line licence in March 2005 when it was the only bidder for the 15-year USD65 million concession.
Separately, Portugal Telecom has been linked as a prospective bidder in the part-privatisation of the country’s dominant telco, Algerie Telecom. The government is planning to offload between 35% and 51% of the PTO next year. Algerie Telecom has 2.8 million wireline customers and 7.4 million wireless subscribers.