Orange, a company known as France’s largest telecom operator, believes it would benefit from spreading its scope towards Africa and will give itself a few months to make a possible move, as Chief Executive Stephane Richard informed Les Echos business newspaper.
“It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa,” Richard was quoted as saying. “If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
Richard gave no comment on a possible interest in South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd.
The company’s fastest-growing market include the Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries.
The region makes a large chunk of its revenues from payment transfers – a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services.
Earlier in the year, Orange said it was going to be bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, creating a path for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
Richard said Orange would also be trying to build partnerships with health companies or institutions.