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Orange in Talks to Buy Bharti Aitel's African Networks

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France based orange has confirmed that it is looking to expand its African footprint with the possible acquisition of up to four of Bharti Airtel's subsidiaries.

Talks are under way both companies confirmed.

"Orange and Airtel have entered into an exclusive agreement to explore the possible acquisition by Orange of Airtel's subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, and Sierra Leone," the two firms said in separate statements.

A deal for the four networks is estimated to be worth around USD1 billion.

The talks follow on from efforts last year by Orange to buy some of Airtel's networks in the continent, where Orange is already active. Orange claims to have just under 100 million customers in its Middle East & Africa section.

The deal would fit with both companies language focus, as the four networks concerned are in Francophone countries, leaving Airtel focused on English speaking operations.

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Tags: orange  bharti airtel  Burkina Faso  Chad  Congo  Sierra Leone