France Telecom to buy minority stake in Korek
France Telecom confirmed that it was considering buying a minority stake in Iraq's third-largest mobile phone operator Korek, which has enrolled nearly 3 million subscribers since launching in 2007.
The goal of the French company is to double its revenue from emerging markets by 2015 through acquisitions of up to five and seven billion Euros, especially in the Middle East and Africa.
Korek, based in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, competes with Zain and Asia-Cell Telecom, which owns a stake in Qatar's Qtel.
France Telecom operates in over 12 countries in the region, including Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia. In the last year the company raised approximately seven percent of its revenues, worth 3.3 billion euros, from its activities in emerging markets.
The French group also recently acquired a 40 percent stake in Meditel, the second-largest mobile phone company in Morocco, and is competing for a third license for mobile services in Syria.