airtel africa

French telecom operator Orange has bought Airtel’s operations in the African nations of Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. The deal was signed by Bharti Aritel’s Netherlands subsidiary and Orange.

Orange will acquire 100% of the two companies’ share capital. The consolidated revenue of the two companies is around €275 million. These acquisitions will be implemented in partnership with Orange’s subsidiaries in the Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

Airtel had entered into exclusive talks with Orange to sell its businesses in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone in July 2015. The agreements regarding potential transactions in the remaining two countries have lapsed.

“The outlay for Orange for these transactions will be based on the financials of Airtel’s two subsidiaries for the year ended March 31, 2016 and will represent the equivalent of 7.9 times Airtel’s EBITDA in these two countries at this time”, the companies said in a joint statement.

With this acquisition, Orange says that it will bring the group’s African footprint up to 20 countries.


Orange’s Africa and Middle East operations had reported revenues of €1.30 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. The company had 111.2 million customers in the region 15.5m Orange Money customers.

Airtel’s Africa operations had reported revenues of $1.01 billion in the quarter ended September 30, 2015. The company had 80.83 million mobile customers in Africa. The total customer base using the Airtel Money platform in Africa increased by 20% to 8.4 million as compared to 7 million last quarter, while the total number of transactions during the quarter has more than doubled to 241.4 million as compared to 198.2 million last quarter.

Mobile money platform deals

In March 2015, Airtel and Orange struck a deal in Africa to allow Orange customers in Côte d’Ivoire to send money to customers of Airtel Money in Burkina Faso, and vice versa, owing to the interconnection between the two operators’ mobile money platforms. Airtel has a similar deal with MTN between the same two countries.