FT said to be considering 'four or five' deals in the MENA region

28 Jun 2010

France Telecom (FT) is understood to be mulling four or five possible acquisitions in the Middle East and North Africa region over the next five years, with its CEO Stephane Richard suggesting that some deals could even be concluded this summer. Bloomberg quotes Marc Rennard, executive director for MEA and Asia, as saying ‘Perhaps we will sign in the summer, perhaps it will take six months … We do not want to deteriorate our EBITDA ratio, but we need growth.’ Although no specific targets have been mentioned, Rennard’s latest announcement coms in the wake of a statement by Richard in April this year. Speaking at the publication of FT’s first-quarter financials, the CEO said: ‘The Group again proved its ability to maintain its performance in terms of revenues and profitability against the backdrop of an economic and regulatory environment that remains difficult. France saw a slight improvement in revenues and the resumption of the fibre-optic network deployment in more than 20 cities and towns. In the Africa and the Middle East region, the 7% growth stemmed from the stronger performance of our operations including those is the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda. On 5 May, we will launch Orange in Tunisia … With the explosion of data services, the group continues to invest almost 12% of its revenues annually in areas such as its 3G/3G+ mobile networks, the restarting of the fibre rollout and the deployment of new networks in emerging markets … I am therefore able to confirm our objectives for the full year and … by the summer we will present France Telecom’s commitments and action plan for the next five years.’

France, Orange Group