FT acquires another 9.87% of Sonatel

Dow Jones Newswires  reports that France Telecom is to acquire a further 9.87% of Senegal's incumbent, Sonatel, from the Senegalese government.

The acquisition will increase France Telecom's stake in Sonatel to 52.2%.

France Telecom will acquire the stake for a total of €209 million, based on a price per share after the distribution of the dividend and an exceptional payout of €76 million paid by Sonatel to its shareholders, the group said in a statement.

Abdoulaye Diop, the Senegalese minister of state for finance and the economy, said in a statement that the partnership between the government and France Telecom will enable the group to further its development in Senegal's neighbouring countries".

The Senegalese government will remain Sonatel's second-largest shareholder with 17.28% of its capital.

At the end of 2008, Sonatel had 3.8 million customers in Senegal and another 3.4 million in surrounding countries.

The transaction should take effect by the end of the first half of 2009, France telecom said.