French telecoms group Orange has resumed its on-off private negotiations with the Beninese authorities on the planned privatisation of state-run cellco Libercom, according to Agence Ecofin, which writes that Orange CEO Stephane Richard has met with officials from Benin at the African country’s embassy in Paris to continue the discussions. According to the report, ‘given the recent meetings in Paris with members of the Technical Commission of denationalisation’ Orange remains ‘likely to be declared the successful bidder’ in Benin’s current tender for 80% of Libercom, which was announced by the republic’s government in February this year, although CommsUpdate reported in March that Etisalat was also interested in Libercom (while the UAE-based group is currently in the process of transferring ownership of its existing local unit Moov Benin to Maroc Telecom, which has not indicated if it shares the same ambition).
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