An Egyptian court has pushed back the date for a decision on the shareholding dispute between Orascom Telecom and France Telecom (FT) related to mobile network operator Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), Reuters reports. The court has set a date of 6 March for the next hearing in the matter, after lawyers for the two sides put forward their cases on the back of a ruling by the same court earlier this month that rejected a bid from FT for the shares in MobiNil it does not currently hold.
In separate but related news, Bloomberg reports that an Egyptian judiciary committee, in a recommendation to the court, has said that the original verdict preventing the French company from acquiring the shares at the price put forward should be upheld. In line with previous criticisms of this, and other earlier offers, the committee argued that the EGP245 (USD44.65) per share offered by FT in December 2009 was too low and was ‘unfair’ to minority shareholders. In addition, the committee’s report claimed that the Egyptian Financial Services Authority (EFSA), the country’s financial regulator, did not provide ‘sufficient reasons for agreeing to France Telecom’s per-share offer of EGP245 per share.’