Orange, the largest telecommunications operator in France, says it is making plans to expand its operations to Nigeria and South Africa.
Stéphane Richard, Orange CEO, told Les Echos newspaper that the company believes it would benefit from having a wider footprint in Africa and will give itself a few months to make a possible move.
“It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years,” he said.
He, however, declined to comment on possible interest in MTN Group Ltd, the largest telecommunications company in South Africa and Nigeria.
Orange’s fastest-growing market is in the Middle East and Africa where it has a presence in 18 countries.
Reuters reports that payment transfers form a large part of its revenue which is an important part of its diversification into financial services.
Orange had earlier announced that it would merge its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, to make way for a potential listing and raise money for expansion to other countries.
Orange has 266 million customers worldwide and has 89,000 employees in France and 59,000 employees in other parts of the world where its operations are situated.
It is also, the tenth-largest mobile network operator in the world and the fourth largest in Europe after Vodafone, Telefónica, and Veon.
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