Orange has entered into an exclusive agreement to buy four of Airtel’s African subsidiaries. The affected subsidiaries include the ones in Chad, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Congo Brazzaville.
Airtel had denied this possibility earlier in the year but it is no secret that the African operations of the telecoms giant, Bharti Airtel, have been posting losses since 2010 after it acquired the businesses from Zain. The parent company has been unable to replicate the success of its Indian operation in the African market despite changing the Africa CEO last year to Christian De Faria.
The official statement said “There is no certainty of any binding agreement as a result of these discussions.”, so this may not end in a sale. A similar agreement that comes to mind is the agreement between BlackBerry Limited and Fairfax Financial, back in 2013.
Airtel’s loss in Africa for the fiscal fourth quarter of the year ended March 2015 widened to $183 million from $105 million a year back, affected by fluctuating exchange rates.