FT sets sights on Vietnam, Ghana, Algeria in wake of failed TeliaSonera bid

1 Jul 2008

Paris-based France Telecom (FT) is looking to potential acquisitions in Algeria, Vietnam and Ghana following its decision to walk away from a possible takeover of Scandinavian telecoms group TeliaSonera, says Thomson Financial citing a report in La Tribune newspaper. FT’s finance director Gervais Pellissier is quoted as saying that he still has an eye on acquiring a stake in Ghana Telecom, the sale of which the government there ‘seems to be restarting’. The French group may already have been beaten to the punch, however, with the UK’s Vodafone Group strongly linked to a USD960 million deal for the Ghanaian national PTO. Some local press reports claim Vodafone could be unveiled as the winner of a 66.7% stake on 2 July.

France Telecom is also keen on taking part in the privatisation of Algerie Telecom, although the process has been delayed due to changes in government and may now begin at the start of 2009. In Vietnam, FT is exploring options to buy into domestic mobile operator Mobifone, La Tribune said, although the government of Vietnam may not allow this before the first quarter of 2009 at the earliest. La Tribune added that FT may also look at taking complete control of its 51%-owned Belgian operator Mobistar, which could cost upwards of EUR1.6 billion (USD2.5 billion).