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FT raises Sonatel stake to 52.2%

9 Apr 2009

Telecoms behemoth France Telecom (FT) is raising its equity holding in Senegalese national fixed line operator Sonatel to 52.2% by acquiring a 9.87% stake from the government of Senegal for a total consideration of EUR209 million (USD276 million). The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Sonatel was created in 1985, when the Office des Postes et des Telecommunications (OPT) – previously responsible for post and domestic telephony – and Telesenegal – in charge of international telecoms services – were merged, Sonatel remains the only active fixed line telco in Senegal; a fixed line competitor was licensed in September 2007 but has not yet launched services. Sonatel was privatised in 1997 when a 33% stake was sold to FT; the French telco stepped in to acquire the holding when Swedish operator TeliaSonera, which initially won the bid, dropped out.

Senegal, Orange Group, Sonatel (Orange)

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