Egypt’s financial market regulator, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), has reportedly approved a tender offer in which European telecoms giant France Telecom-Orange is seeking to increase its stake in local cellco Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS), which trades as MobiNil. Following approval of the offer, the EFSA has said that shares in both MobiNil and Orascom Telecom Holdings (OTH), the latter of which is the other major shareholder in the Egyptian cellco, will resume trading on the Egyptian bourse after a two-day suspension.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, FT-Orange earlier this month announced plans to spend up to EUR1.5 billion (USD1.97 billion) to increase its stake in MobiNil to 95%. The move, which forms part of the French giant’s bid to ramp up its presence in emerging markets, is the result of an agreement between the Paris-based group and OTH over the Cairo-listed mobile network operator, with FT-Orange having agreed terms to acquire all but 5% of MobiNil from Orascom at a price of EGP202.50 (USD33.64) per share. OTH currently holds a 20% direct stake in MobiNil, as well as an indirect 28.75% stake held through a joint venture with FT-Orange; the JV, MobiNil Telecom, has a 51% majority stake in MobiNil.
FT-Orange has confirmed that, following the EFSA’s authorisation of its plans, it is preparing to launch a mandatory tender offer via its subsidiary MT Telecoms SCRL, in which it will offer to acquire ECMS shares at EGP202.50 per share. The offer will be open between 24 April 2012 and 23 May 2012.