MCIT calls on FT and Orascom to resolve MobiNil ownership difficulties

14 Dec 2009

Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has reportedly said it hopes to see Orascom Telecom and France Telecom (FT) resolve their differences over the ownership of mobile network operator MobiNil, noting that it ‘continues to hope … that the two parties in the commercial dispute reach a conciliatory solution that allows them to continue in their successful partnership’. However, the MCIT has also revealed that the French company has agreed to look for a new Egyptian partner should Orascom complete the sale of its stake in the cellco.

The statement from the ministry comes after it was announced last week that the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) had finally approved an offer from FT for the acquisition of those shares it does not currently own in MobiNil at EGP245 (USD44.71) per share. According to Reuters though Orascom has said it opposes the regulator’s decision, and has announced that it has sent a letter to the bourse, while noting it was still considering its next course of action. Should Orascom choose to complete the sale it would raise an approximate USD1.6 billion, although it would no longer own a telecoms operator in its home country.