Elie Girard, France Telecom-Orange’s executive director of strategy and development, has revealed that the French communications giant is eyeing up deals for unspecified carriers in Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin, while also studying Mauritanian carrier Mattel. In addition, the Paris-based company is still working towards securing a management contract in Libya and has lodged an interest in the bidding process for TeliaSonera’s Spanish cellular unit, Yoigo. He told Bloomberg: ‘There are many countries in which people know our Orange brand very well, but we’re not selling them anything. We can get extra sales and, in some cases, test the field before we decide to go in for an acquisition or to deploy as a full-blown carrier’. However, Girard said that the company has no plans involving Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom unit, which the French conglomerate is keen to offload.
Elsewhere, in Italy, FT-Orange has commenced online sales as part of its ‘Orange Horizons’ initiative, which debuted in South Africa. In both instances, FT-Orange works with a distributor to limit its investments, and collects a ‘small margin’. Girard commented: ‘The strategy is compatible with our financial policy. It allows us to keep our international development rolling, with softer models’.