According to Reuters, Egypt’s stock market regulator, the Capital Market Authority (CMA), has rejected an offer by France Telecom (FT) for an additional stake in cellco Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil). It is understood that the rejection was made on the grounds that the offer was below a court-ordered price, and was considered unfair to minority shareholders. FT confirmed that it filed a proposal with the CMA with a view to voluntarily offering MobiNil’s minority shareholders a public takeover bid at a premium of 33.1% on the closing price on 5 April 2009 and 54.2% on the average price for the last six months. It however argued that the court-ordered price applied only to MobiNil Telecommunications, a holding company which has a 51% stake in the mobile operator. The French company also noted that it does not consider itself bound, either from a legal standpoint or in view of market practices, to launch a mandatory public offer.
The revelation comes only just a few days after the announcement that Orascom Telecom, FT’s partner in holding company MobiNil Telecommunications, had been ordered to sell its 28.75% stake in the joint venture. Orascom will still hold a 20% direct stake in the cellco after the enforced stake sale in the holding company.