Monday, 10 January 2011

France's Telecom indicates interest in 'Djezzy'

France Telecom's CEO Stephane Richard said this week that France Telecom may enter Algeria as part of its planned expansion in emerging markets. Richard told reporters in Paris that he was looking to orient France Telecom toward fast-growing countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to offset its stagnant domestic revenues.

France's largest phone company was monitoring developments in Algeria, where it could seek a presence either through existing operator Djezzy or other means, Richard said.

“Algeria is a potentially interesting market, and we will see what happens with Djezzy,” whose parent company Orascom Telecom Holding is currently locked in a dispute with the Algerian government, Richard said.

The current situation with Djezzy is that the Algerian government is reported to be planning to buy Djezzy, possibly in cooperation with a foreign partner, and is seeking advice on a valuation, while Orascom is saying that it will seek international arbitration to contest Algeria's demands to pay more than US$800 million in back taxes and restrictions on transferring money abroad from Algeria. Richard also said that no discussions on entering Algeria are under way.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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