Sofrecom

Telecommunications
France

Sofrecom, an Orange subsidiary, has developed over 50 years unique know-how about operators’ businesses, making it a world leading specialist in telecommunications consultancy and engineering. ("Company Website")

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"France’s Orange SA has entered preliminary talks to buy a piece of Iran’s largest cellular operator in what would mark the first acquisition of a stake in a major Iranian firm by a Western company since nuclear sanctions were lifted in January. Orange, France’s largest telecom company, is one of several European companies that have held discussions about taking a stake in Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran, according to people familiar with the matter. The names of the others couldn’t immediately be learned... The Paris-based company is discussing a commercial and technical agreement as well as a share purchase, the people said. Orange, which is 23%-owned by the French government, is navigating difficult straits as Iran strains to open its markets up to the West. It needs to squeeze financing for a potential deal out of Western banks that are fearful of being hit by remaining U.S. sanctions. In addition, MCI’s parent company, Telecommunication Co. of Iran, or TCI, is owned by a group of companies that in some cases lead back to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, a paramilitary force that runs large swaths of the Iranian economy and remains under U.S. sanctions for its alleged involvement in terrorism, an accusation it denies... Orange has been planning its move into Iran for years. Its consultancy unit, Sofrecom SA, has provided technical assistance to TCI and advised its management since at least 2014, according to invoices reviewed by The Wall Street Journal." (The Wall Street Journal, "French Carrier Pursues Stake in Iranian Wireless Firm," 08/31/2016).