Orange and e& are reportedly considering bids for the 45% stake on offer in Ethiopia-owned operator Ethio Telecom, Bloomberg reported.
Early talks are apparently underway with both operator groups, and Orange is stated to be examining the potential conditions of the stake sale.
Ethiopia’s government put up the shares in its state-owned operator earlier this year, in a move to seemingly stay competitive against the Vodafone, Vodacom and Safaricom consortium (trading as Safaricom).
Safaricom bagged Ethiopia’s first private mobile licence in 2021 and began commercial services in 2022.
More competition is expected in the Ethiopian market as the government issued a notice for invites doe interest in a second private mobile licence. Ethiopia is seen as one of the remaining many greenfield opportunities in the world – it also has the second highest population in Africa at around 100 million people.
Recently, the Middle East and Africa have proven to be bright spots in Orange's results. The operator was also exploring an entry into Nigeria which it told Developing Telecoms, has been put on ice for now.