Orange revealed it pulled out of plans to acquire a 45% stake in Ethiopian operator Ethio Telecom, stating it saw no new value creation by going ahead with the move.
In a statement Orange said: “Orange confirms that it has decided to withdraw from the ongoing process regarding the sale of 45% of Ethio Telecom.
"After analysis, the Group believes that the conditions do not allow for the rapid deployment of our strategy and the completion of a project that would create value for the company.”
The operator had submitted interest in the shares in 2021, as the state-owned operator looked to gain external investment to remain competitive against new rival Safaricom Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was formerly a single operator market as international companies were banned from setting up shop. The East African nation opened its doors to outside investment when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was worn into office in 2018.
Ethio Telecom has around 70 million subscribers in a market with a population of around 120 million, while Safaricom Ethiopia had reportedly gained several million since launching over 12 months ago.
Orange’s withdrawal follows the Ethiopian government shelving plans to issue a third telecoms licence to pave the way for a third operator, Bloomberg reported there was low interest due to political turmoil in the country.
The Middle East and Africa has proven to be a source for growth in Orange’s financials in previous quarters.