Egypt’s financial watchdog calls for explanation of OTMT’s acceptance of MobiNil share offer

15 Feb 2012

In the wake of the revelation that France Telecom (FT) and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) have reached a preliminary agreement regarding the former’s acquisition of the latter’s stake in Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS), it is understood that the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) is calling on OTMT to explain the deal to its shareholders. According to Bloomberg, the financial watchdog has called for the explanation after the Egyptian telecoms group accepted what is understood to be a lower price per share than it had been offered in a previous bid by FT in 2009.

As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, the French company announced that it would pay EGP202.5 (USD33.54) per share for the stake in ECMS, which trades under the MobiNil banner, currently held by Naguib Sawiris-controlled OTMT. As part of the agreement it was suggested that FT would offer the same price per share for those MobiNil shares currently traded on the Cairo bourse as part of a tender offer to be made at some point in the near future, but this is somewhat lower than the EGP245 per share offer that had been accepted in December 2009 by the EFSA. That offer was subsequently blocked by a court in Cairo in January 2010 after Mr Sawiris opposed it on the grounds that it was lower than the EGP273 per share price tag set by an international arbitration court for his stake in MobiNil Telecom, the holding company which controls 51% of MobiNil’s shares.