French-owned Orange said on Thursday it had completed a $160 million acquisition of Millicom’s subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tigo.
In February, Orange announced it had reached an agreement with Millicom to buy 100 percent of its stake in Tigo as it sought to increase its presence in the second-largest mobile market in Central and West Africa after Nigeria.
There are more than 40 million mobile phone subscribers in DRC. Vodacom is the largest operator in DRC, while Airtel and Africell are also active in that market.
As at Dec. 31, 2015, Tigo DRC was the country’s fourth largest operator by subscribers with a 12.9 percent share of the market, while Orange DRC sat just behind with a 12.8 percent market share.
According to TeleGeography, both Tigo and Orange operate 2G and 3G networks.
“We are extremely happy to announce the completion of the acquisition of Tigo by Orange DRC in a market marked by very strong growth potential,” Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange in charge of Operations in Africa and the Middle East, said in an emailed statement.
“Through this strategic investment, Orange confirms its ambition to reinforce its presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and accelerate the conditions in which it can develop its services through this consolidation.”
This is the fourth acquisition Orange has made in Africa this year, which has increased its footprint on the continent to 23 countries.
Earlier in April, it completed the acquisition of Cellcom, Liberia’s leading mobile operator, and in In January, Orange agreed to buy Cellcom in Liberia and Airtel’s operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.