Orange Withdraws from Ethiopia’s Ethio Telecom 45% Stake Acquisition

Orange withdraws from Ethio Telecom Stake Acquisition. The French telecommunications giant Orange has announced its decision to withdraw from the ongoing process to acquire a 45% stake in Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio Telecom.

The company cited “current market conditions” as the primary reason for its withdrawal. In a statement, Orange explained that the current market conditions in Ethiopia do not align with its strategic objectives. The company had initially expressed interest in acquiring the stake in Ethio Telecom in 2021, viewing it as an opportunity to expand its presence in Africa’s most populous country.

However, the telecommunications landscape in Ethiopia has undergone significant changes since Orange’s initial interest, with the government taking steps to increase its control over the sector. These changes, coupled with the ongoing economic uncertainty in the country, led Orange to reassess its position.

“We have carefully considered our options and have concluded that the current market conditions in Ethiopia do not align with our strategic objectives,” Orange stated in its withdrawal announcement. “We remain committed to our long-term presence in Africa and will continue to explore opportunities that are in line with our strategy.”

Ethio Telecom, the sole telecommunications provider in Ethiopia, has been undergoing a major expansion in recent years, investing heavily in infrastructure to improve network coverage and connectivity. The company has also been expanding its mobile financial services offerings, aiming to reach a wider customer base.

Ethiopia's Ethio Telecommunication Network

The Ethiopian government has been seeking to attract foreign investment in the telecommunications sector, hoping to leverage the expertise and resources of global players to further develop the country’s digital infrastructure. However, the government’s recent moves to increase its control over the sector have raised concerns among potential investors.

Orange’s withdrawal from the Ethio Telecom stake acquisition process is likely to have implications for the Ethiopian government’s plans to attract foreign investment in the telecommunications sector. The government will need to address the concerns of potential investors if it wants to attract the necessary capital to support its ambitious expansion plans.

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