France Telecom (FT) has finalised its agreements to enter the wireless market of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through a 100% acquisition of Congo Chine Telecom (CCT). The French telecoms giant has agreed to pay USD10 million for the 51% share owned by Chinese equipment manufacturer ZTE, and USD7 million to the Congolese government for the remaining 49%. As a result of CCT’s high level of debt, the total enterprise value for the purchase according to FT is USD196 million.
In addition FT will pay USD71million to the Congolese government for improved licence terms, including an extension of ten years on the existing concession plus access to an additional 2MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band for 2G services and 10MHz in the 2100MHz range for 3G services.
Regarding the sale, Stephane Richard, France Telecom-Orange’s chairman and CEO, said: ‘The acquisition of CCT is an important step in our policy of expansion outside Europe, and contributes to our stated aim of doubling our revenues in Africa and the Middle East by 2015. Orange is already present in over 20 countries in the region and has built up considerable experience developing networks and new services that are specifically tailored to the needs of local markets.’