Orascom will appeal EFSA’s decision to accept MobiNil offer from FT

15 Dec 2009

Hot on the heels of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority’s (EFSA’s) decision to accept an offer from France Telecom (FT) for the outstanding shares it does not hold in cellco MobiNil, fellow shareholder Orascom Telecom has said it will appeal the ruling. According to Dow Jones Newswires, Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom, announced: ‘We are appealing this decision…this price EGP245 (USD44.71) is not the right price. We are the largest minority shareholder in ECMS with 20% and we are going to appeal this decision tomorrow [Tuesday] morning.’ In addition, the executive also noted that, should Orascom fail to win its appeal it will launch legal action, with Sawiris adding: ‘We lose the appeal, we go to the courts…We have good faith in our arbitrations, so losing the appeal is not the end of the game.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the issue stems from an arbitration court ruling in April 2009 ordering Orascom to sell its stake in a joint holding company, MobiNil Telecom, to FT for EGP273 per share.

Subsequently, FT revealed it had voluntarily filed a proposal with the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the EFSA forerunner, to offer MobiNil’s minority shareholders a public takeover bid. Orascom claimed that under Egyptian law FT must also purchase its 20% direct stake in the cellco at a price of EGP273.26 per share, a claim rejected by FT, which argued that the tender for direct shares was not covered by the arbitration ruling. Prior to the acceptance of this month’s offer from FT, the CMA rejected three previous offers at EGP187, EGP237 and EGP230 per share.