CAIRO: A subsidiary of Egyptian telecom giant Orascom Telecom (OT) has bought Namibian mobile operator Cell One in a $59 million cash deal, OT said on Wednesday.
OT, the biggest Arab mobile phone operator by subscribers, said Telecel Globe had bought Cell One as part of its strategy of targeting licenses and mobile operators in small and medium-sized developing countries with high growth potential.
“Cell One is well positioned in the Namibian market to become the key provider of competitive mobile voice and data services. Telecel Globe expects the investment in Cell One to have a positive effect on the brand, the customers and Namibia as a whole, Telecel Globe Chief Executive Kai Uebach said.
“This acquisition will further enable Cell One to grow its customer base and deliver both essential services and groundbreaking communication solutions for the Namibian market, he added in a statement.
Telecel Globe has already paid $32 million for Cell One, with the balance due in January 2010.
Orascom said Cell One operated a GSM network with 198,000 active subscribers and had a market share of over 20 percent. It added that Namibia had mobile penetration of close to 50 percent at the end of 2008.
Orascom Telecom has operations in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and North Korea. It also operates in Burundi and the Central African Republic through Telecel Globe.
Orascom Telecom has over 79 million subscribers.
Orascom Telecom also announced the sale of 100 percent of M-link to TLC SERVIZI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wind Telecommunicazioni, for $77 million in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed this week with payment in cash.