Orange submits bid for Ethio Telecom stake

Orange submits bid for Ethio Telecom stake

23 July 2021 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Orange has formally submitted its interest to acquire a stake in Ethio Telecom, confirmed Ethiopia’s ambassador to France.

Henok Teferra Shawl (pictured in the middle), who is also Ethiopia’s ambassador to Spain, Portugal, Holy See and Monaco, confirmed the interest via a post on Twitter. He accompanied the tweet with a picture of himself and an Orange delegation that includes Yves Gauthier, now a senior advisor but former CEO of Orange Morocco (pictured on the right).

Part of the liberalisation plans to bid adieu to the state monopoly in the country is to privatise 45% of Ethio Telecom. “It is 40% to all interested bidders and 5% will be dedicated to Ethiopians. The 55% will remain with the government of Ethiopia,” Brook Taye, senior adviser at the ministry of finance, told media.

The 30-day request for expressions of interest in the state-owned telco ended on 15 July and Orange is the first reported formal bidder. MTN is also thought to have been weighing up the option to invest in Ethio Telecom as well, as opposed to waiting to attain an operating licence after losing out in winning a new licence.

The news comes after financing for Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC was thrown into doubt due to US sanctions over the ongoing Tigray conflict.