Reuters is reporting that an Egyptian appeals committee has rejected a request by Orascom Telecom that the regulator block France Telecom’s (FT’s) latest bid to buy all of the shares in mobile operator MobiNil that the latter does not currently hold. Last month Orange Participations, a subsidiary of FT, offered EGP245 (USD44.63) for each MobiNil share, with the offer due to end on 14 January. Despite having several offers rejected by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in 2009, the new financial regulator, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) approved the new offer in early December. It is believed that, following the decision by the regulator not to block the offer, Orascom may now turn its attention to possible legal action to halt the sale, although the Egyptian group has yet to confirm its next step in the long-running dispute.
In separate but related news however, Orascom Telecom has suspended talks related to the sale of LINKdotNET until the MobiNil matter is resolved. In February 2009 Orascom revealed that it had received an offer for the internet subsidiary from MobiNil, which was performing due diligence. ‘The LINKdotNET file is suspended until we finish the MobiNil negotiations,’ Orascom spokeswoman Manal Abdel Hamid said prior to the regulator’s decision not to block FT’s latest offer for MobiNil shares.