French telecoms giant Orange Group is reportedly looking to sell off its Ugandan unit, amidst speculation that the group is planning to exit African markets where it is not the largest or second largest provider, a strategy that Orange has already implemented throughout its European footprint. According to TMT Finance, which cites unnamed sources, Orange has instructed Lazard to find a buyer for Orange Uganda. South Africa’s MTN is seen to be a likely candidate to take over Orange’s operations, having previously advocated consolidation in the crowded sector, where its local unit dominates the market. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel of India is understood to be another strong candidate, having already expanded its position in the market through its acquisition of Warid Uganda in May 2013. Orange Uganda ended 2013 with 218,000 subscribers, equating to a market share of around 3.0%.
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