Orange increases interest in Morocco's Méditel


Telecommunications services provider Orange has increased its interest in Moroccan telecommunications operator Méditel after it acquired an additional 9% in share capital.

An announcement over the weekend confirmed an agreement signed between Fipar-Holding (the Moroccan Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion group), FinanceCom and Orange, in application of agreements between the parties signed in December 2010.

The announcement stated "through this transaction, Orange has acquired an additional 9% of Méditel's capital and benefits from the rights set out in the December 2010 agreements. As a result, Orange now holds 49% of Méditel's share capital."

It added that the Board of Directors of Méditel will now be composed of five members proposed by Orange and four members appointed by the Moroccan shareholders. The company will now be fully consolidated in the financial statements of the Orange group.

Méditel was created in 1999 and its network is said to include 5,400km of fibre optic cable. In March it was awarded one of three available 4G licenses and the operator launched its 4G service in June.

According to the media release Méditel has over 13 million mobile subscribers, representing a 31% market share at the end of 2014.

The transaction is said to have already been approved by public authorities and regulators, and, according to Orange, "supports the Group's ambition to reinforce its presence in Africa and Middle East."

In June Reuters reported that Orange chief executive Stephane Richard spoke of the company's intention to increase its stake in the Moroccan subsidiary as part of its expansion plans in North Africa.