France’s Orange Group has begun informal talks with Millicom International Cellular (MIC) regarding a potential takeover of the latter’s mobile operations in Senegal, Chad and Ghana, Bloomberg writes, citing two people familiar with the matter. The unnamed sources were quoted as saying that MIC is looking to discard its assets in West and Central Africa, where it has come under pressure from regulators to extend its network into rural areas. The development follows Orange’s acquisition of MIC’s subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tigo DRC, which was completed in late April this year.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Tigo Ghana is the third largest cellco in the country, with a market share of 14.0% at end-March 2016, behind Vodafone Ghana (21.8%) and MTN Ghana (47.1%). In Chad, meanwhile, Tigo has a market share of approximately 56.2%, whilst its main competitor Airtel Chad claims around 43.0% of the space, with state-owned Groupe Sotel Tchad taking the remaining 0.8%. Orange already has a presence in Senegal, where it leads the market by a substantial margin. The cellco already controls approximately 56.1% of the market, and a merger with Tigo Senegal would boost that figure to around 79%.