The government of Cote d’Ivoire and the management team of Orange Group have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) relating to the long-planned merger of fixed line operator CI-Telecom and mobile unit Orange Cote d’Ivoire. The former is 48.5%-owned by the government and 51.0%-owned by Orange Group, with the remaining minor stake held by current and former employees, while the cellco is 85%-owned by Orange Group, with the remainder held by SIFCOM.
According to news portal Jeune Afrique, the agreement was signed on 28 April by Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA), Abdourahmane Cisse, the Ivorian Minister of Budget, Minister of Economy Adama Kone, and Minister of Digital Economy Bruno Kone. Discussions with the state are expected to be concluded by the end of the year, with the merger expected to be formalised by June 2017. Speaking to the local media afterwards, Mr Kone suggested that the government will ultimately hold a 31% stake in the new entity, compared to Orange’s 69% shareholding.