Walk [away] like an Egyptian

14 Nov 2008

Egyptian telcos Telecom Egypt (TE) and Orascom Telelcom have finally agreed to liquidate The Consortium Algerien de Telecommunications (operating as Lacom), their fixed line 50/50 joint venture in Algeria. They have released a statement saying, ‘We have decided to exit the Algerian market and direct our resources to other promising opportunities … we have taken the unfortunate decision to liquidate our joint venture with immediate effect.’

TE and Orascom had both protested that state-owned incumbent Algerie Telecom was receiving preferential regulatory treatment, but Algeria’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications promised to remove any barriers preventing Lacom from competing effectively with Algerie Telecom in February this year, and TE had said in March it considered the matter resolved. Orascom and TE had both suggested selling on their stakes in Lacom since the end of last year, but failed to conclude any deals.