France-based Orange Group has signed an agreement with Millicom International Cellular (MIC) to acquire its Tigo subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following regulatory approval. In a press release, Orange noted that the acquisition ’underlines [its] strategy in Africa which aims at developing and maintaining leading competitive positions across its various countries of operations on the continent.’ A separate announcement from MIC states it will sell 100% of its shares for a total cash consideration of USD160 million, with CEO Mauricios Ramos saying: ‘The sale of Tigo DRC is in line with our strategy of supporting consolidation and concentrating our resources in our most promising markets. Proceeds from the sale will strengthen our balance sheet allowing us to reinvest in our existing Latin American and African markets, improving earnings and cash flow and reducing leverage.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2005 MIC paid Orascom USD35 million for 100% of Oasis Telecom, subsequently rebranding the company ‘Tigo’ in January 2007. Tigo DRC is the country’s fourth largest operator by subscribers with 14.1% of the market share as at September 2015, while Orange DRC sits in fifth place with a 12.7% market share at the same date. Both cellcos operate 2G and 3G networks.