The Ivorian government has reportedly urged fixed line incumbent Cote d’Ivoire Telecom (CI-Telecom) and its sister company Orange Cote d’Ivoire to work towards a formal merger, citing the industry trend for convergence. Following a meeting chaired by president Alassane Ouattara, it was decided that the two businesses – which remain separate business entities with different shareholder structures – should ‘take appropriate measures to follow up the implementation of the proposed merger as quickly as possible, while safeguarding the best interests of the state’. Agence Ecofin claims that the major shareholders of both companies have agreed in principle to the plan, and are committed to a transparent merger process.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Orange Group (formerly France Telecom) owns and controls 85% of Orange Cote d’Ivoire. The remainder of the company is owned by SIFCOM. Meanwhile, CI-Telecom is controlled by Orange Group (51.00%), via its 90%-owned France Cables et Radio (FCR) unit. The Cote d’Ivoire government (48.47%) and current and former employees (0.53%) hold the remainder of the company’s shares.