French telecom major Orange has signed a deal with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV for acquiring its operations in two African countries, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers, globally in terms of subscribers.

The companies did not reveal the size of the deal but analysts said it could be worth $800-900 million.

The companies had signed an initial agreement in July 2015 for the acquisition of Airtel’s operations in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Chad and Congo-Brazzaville. The agreement over the latter two countries has lapsed.

The outlay for Orange for these transactions will be based on the financials of Airtel’s two subsidiaries for the year ended March 2016, and will represent the equivalent of 7.9 times Airtel’s Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in these two countries at that time. The completion of these transactions was subject to approval by the competent authorities, the company said.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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