Etisalat buys 50% in West African mobile operator
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with expanding West African mobile operator Atlantique Telecom and acquired a 50 per cent stake in the group. The announcement was made in the French capital, Paris confirmed that the deal gives Etisalat a 10-year contract to manage the six-country operations of Atlantique Telecom.
Atlantique Telecom owns majority shareholdings in mobile operators in Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Cost). Obaid Bin Mes’har, CEO of Etisalat International, said after signing the agreement: “This is a huge success for our efforts to roll out our premium services and cutting-edge technology across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. “
The Corporation is rapidly becoming a leading international player through its investments abroad. Its groundbreaking investment in the Etihad Etisalat consortium that led to the launch of Mobily and a multi-billion dollar Islamic funding exercise in Saudi Arabia, confirmed its ability to compete against other top players in international markets. Mr. Mes’har said: “This strategic alliance further complements Etisalat’s considerable international investments, which includes a significant stake in Etihad Etisalat in Saudi Arabia, in addition to the investment in the Kanartel consortium in Sudan.”
Through its blue chip portfolio of international investments, strategic partnerships and key subsidiaries such as e-Marine with international operations, Etisalat has considerable reach. The investments include a significant interest in Thuraya, the global satellite-based telecom services provider, Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) and in Africa Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel), multiple investments in Sudan, the latest in the Kanartel consortium adding to its holding in Sudan Telecommunications Company (Sudatel).
This significant investment in Atlantique considerably boosts Etisalat’s presence in Africa, and opens up access to the huge markets on the continent’s west coast. Mr. Mes’har added: “Etisalat will continue to seek strategic partnerships and alliances in-line with its international investment strategy to further strengthen its position as the leading telecom service provider in the region and beyond.
“Our success in acquiring 50 per cent of Atlantique, along with a 10 year management contract, reflects the quality of the services provided by Etisalat wherever it operates. The standards we bring and the level of service we offer are very difficult to match.
“Since the launch of its ambitious new investment strategy, the Corporation has begun the transformation from national and regional operator to global player with leading technology and services. West Africa provides further opportunities for our growth and for adding value for our shareholders. In turn, we will ensure that our customers in these six countries receive state-of-the art services that will address their communications needs.”