Vodafone, Airtel mulling Comium takeover, report says

20 Jun 2014

According to an unconfirmed report by Jeune Afrique, ailing Ivorian mobile operator Comium has attracted takeover interest from India’s Bharti Airtel and UK-based Vodafone Group. The cellco generated sales of just XOF372.9 million (USD707,909) in the year ended 31 December 2013, as its user base slumped from 1.452 million to 820,887.

Last month Ivorian communications minister Bruno Nabagne Kone urged the country’s three smallest operators – Comium, GreenN and Cafe Mobile – to consider merging their respective operations in an effort to strengthen their weak positions. In reality, the combination of three minnows’ operations would achieve very little, and the companies remain far likelier to be swallowed up by one of their larger rivals: MTN, Orange and Moov.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, September 2013 saw speculation emerge that Vietnam’s Viettel Group was keen to strike a deal for Comium, and had edged in front of fellow suitor Airtel, although no deal ever transpired. For its part, Vodafone’s African unit Vodacom remains keen to line up ‘bolt-on’ deals within sub-Saharan Africa, despite a noted lack of M&A activity in recent years.

Cote d’Ivoire, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Bharti Airtel, Comium Cote d’Ivoire (Koz), Comium Group,


Subscribe to CommsUpdate to get the day’s top telecom headlines delivered to your email.

Subscribe to CommsUpdate


Have feedback, corrections, or story ideas? Send them to editors@commsupdate.com.

Browse Past Issues


Filter CommsUpdate by the following categories or use the search.


Visit our help page information on performing advanced searches, including how to restrict the results by country or company.


CommsUpdate is an outstanding advertising venue for companies seeking to reach:

  • International carriers
  • Wholesale service providers
  • Equipment and software vendors
  • Telecom investors
  • Regulators

Learn more about advertising on CommsUpdate.