According to Reuters an Egyptian court will issue a verdict on the attempt by Orascom Telecom to halt the sale of any outstanding shares in mobile network operator MobiNil to France Telecom (FT). The French company had an offer accepted by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) in early December at EGP245 (USD44.87) per share, having had three previous offers rejected. Orascom however sought to block the sale through an appeals committee, but last week it was revealed that the request to block the sale had been rejected. Orascom continues to argue that FT should have offered EGP273 per share, equivalent to a price set by an arbitration court last April for the MobiNil shares Orascom held through a holding company.
Meanwhile, troubles for MobiNil continue elsewhere, with reports from Reuters also indicating that the cellco has fallen behind on its EGP750 million instalment for its 3G licence which was due on 1 January. It is understood that as a result MobiNil could face financial penalties, although it is believed that the operator may ask the regulator to exempt it from any possible levies as a result of the ongoing ownership dispute. MobiNil is in the process of selling bonds worth around EGP1.5 billion in an offer which closes on 24 January, and a portion of the proceeds raised by this sale are expected to go towards its overdue licence fee.