TMCnet Feature
September 12, 2011

France Telecom in Talks to Acquire Congo China Telecom

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

A major telecommunications acquisition is reportedly set to take place between France Telecom (News - Alert) and Congo China Telecom, according to media reports.

Citing “two people with knowledge of the matter,” Bloomberg reported that “France Telecom SA is close to an agreement to purchase Congo China Telecom, the fourth-largest mobile operator in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”  France Telecom is the country’s largest phone company, which has made several telecom acquisitions this year.

According to Bloomberg (News - Alert), the pending deal could be announced as early as this week – valuing France Telecom at about $218 million. Congo China Telecom is jointly owned by China’s ZTE (News - Alert) Corp.  and the Congolese government. Bloomberg said the two sources “declined to be identified because the talks are private.”

France Telecom has been aggressively seeking potential acquisitions in Africa and the Middle East in an effort to offset slowing growth in its domestic market, Bloomberg said.

According to the report, France Telecom declined to comment on the Congo China Telecom (News - Alert) acquisition and spokeswomen for ZTE in Shenzhen, China and in the U.K. did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In March, the Paris-based company agreed to pay $245 million for a 20 percent stake in Iraqi operator Korek Telecom, an Iraq-based provider of global system for mobile communications (GSM) services.

In other France Telecom news, IP fax company Sagemcom has joined with France Telecom group company Viaccess to bring to the European market a 3D satellite recorder with Blu-ray player. As TMCnet reported, this satellite HD recorder will embed conditional access to secure broadcast content from Viaccess, a company renowned for its conditional access and DRM systems.

To find out more about Sagemcom, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Karol Waldron, Business Development Manager and Regional Sales Manager at Sagemcom is speaking during “Next Generation Faxing in Today’s Enterprise IP Environment.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO… follow us on Twitter.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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