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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007

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Orange open to acquisitions in India

Thomas K. Thomas

Bharat Matrimony

Barcelona Feb. 13 European mobile cellular services provider Orange, owned by France Telecom, could follow Vodafone to consider acquisitions in the fastest growing mobile market in the world. "India is a fast growing market and if a right opportunity emerges at the right kind of valuation, we would look at it. I wouldn't rule anything out," said Mr Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO, Orange. Mr Ahuja, however, said that for now Orange was focussed on the African region.

But Orange said it was interested in picking up controlling stake in emerging market operators, as it would like to deploy its own brand. "Our interest in emerging markets is that we have traditionally taken a controlling stake in an operator. That's what we generally like to ... Not having the Orange brand is not something that we look forward to," Mr Ahuja said. Orange had 97 million customers in 24 countries at the end of December. Its biggest operations are in France and Britain.

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