The consortium that won Egypt’s third mobile licence has confirmed it plans to sell up to a 30% stake in the business via the Egypt stock exchange, according to local papers quoting a company official. The Nile Telecom consortium, which is led by Etisalat, won a combined 2G and 3G operating concession with a bid of EGP16.7 billion (USD2.9 billion) in July. It plans to launch commercial services in February 2007. Etisalat currently holds around 66% of the equity in Nile Telecom, with the remainder split between domestic partners including Egypt Post, National Bank of Egypt and Commercial International Bank (Egypt).
‘Offering shares of Egypt’s third telecoms company in (sic) the Egyptian stock market is a part of Etisalat’s plans. It will be around 30% of shares, in line with the Egyptian financial laws,’ Etisalat chairman, Mohammad Hassan Omran told Gulf News. He added that the company will also be listed in the UAE, where Etisalat is headquartered. Omran’s words contradict a statement he made shortly after the auction that no immediate stake sale was in pipeline. Etisalat says Nile Telecom aims to take a 30% share of the Egyptian mobile market within five years.