Orange Uganda has sold majority of its shares to Africell Holding, Xclusive UG can reliably reveal.
It has been a public secret that Orange has been looking into exiting a good number of the African markets where it does not hold the number one or two positions. Orange has had around 620,000 clients in Uganda with MTN around 8.5 million subscribers in Uganda, while post-merger, Airtel has over 7.5 million. The next largest is Uganda Telecom’s UT Mobile unit, with Orange Uganda among the country’s smaller operators. However the transaction betweenOrange and Africell is subject to approval from the relevant authorities.
Plans by Orange Telecom bosses to sale the company have not been going smoothly. Xclusive UG told of how potential investors who were interested in buying Orange Uganda had pulled away after discovering that the telecom operator was about $200 million in debt, and that it has a fairly thin asset base, the underlying financial value being perceived as too small to justify the offer prices made to investors. According to sources, Orange sold 180 transmission masts to Eaton Towers Ltd, leaving the company with few core technical infrastructure units.
One of the companies that had shown interest in buying Orange is rival telecom MTN but it pulled out.