France Telecom acquired an additional 9.87% stake of the Senegal-based Sonatel, taking its ownership to 52.2%. Upon the completion of the transaction, the Senegalese government will remain Sonatel’s second biggest shareholder with 17.28% share.
Originally, France Telecom invested in the landline and mobile network operator in 1997, and has expanded since to Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. At the end of 2008, the group had 3.8 million customers in Senegal, and a further 3.4 million in surrounding countries.
Commenting on the announcement, France Telecom’s Executive Director of the AMEA region, Marc Rennard, said: “The quality of Sonatel’s teams combined with France Telecom’s experience have made Sonatel one of the most important operators in West Africa, especially in terms of innovation and service quality, which continue to benefit the Group’s customers across its footprint. This new stage in our partnership will strengthen the dynamic business performance that characterises the Sonatel Group.”