Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FT Acquires Elettra -- Telecom Italia's Submarine Cable Group

France Telecom-Orange has acquired Elettra, a subsidiary of the Telecom Italia group specializing in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables, for EUR 20 million.

The deal involves the acquisition of two cable ships -- the Certamen and the Teliri -- along with their crews and maintenance contracts. France Telecom already operates a fleet of four vessels through its subsidiary France Telecom Marine.

Of France Telecom Marine current three ships are dedicated to maintenance services in the Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The René Descartes, the flagship of France Telecom Marine, is specialized in laying new telecommunications submarine systems worldwide.

France Telecom said the acquisition boosts its ability to service telecommunications operators mainly in Europe, in the Mediterranean basin and around Africa, where the Group now operates in close to twenty countries. In this region, the Group has played an active role in the creation of several major networks including the LION cable linking Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion - soon to be extended to Kenya with the LION2 cable -, the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), and the ACE cable that will provide 23 West African countries from 2012 with efficient and affordable access to international networks. France Telecom Marine and Elettra will be participating in the installation of LION2 and ACE.