Saudi Telecom Company (stc) has confirmed that its non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vodafone Group regarding its acquisition the latter’s 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt has expired without the two firms reaching an agreement. In a statement regarding the matter, stc noted that a final deal had not been forthcoming ‘due to misalignment with relevant parties’, although it did confirm that it has come to an understanding with the UK-based company under which they will continue to discuss the potential transaction. Confirming this, Vodafone released a statement of its own, saying that it ‘remains in discussions with stc to finalise the transaction in the near future,’ and ‘now looks to stc and Telecom Egypt to find a suitable agreement to enable the transaction to close’.
Telecom Egypt, meanwhile, issued its own press release regarding the matter, saying that it ‘had not to date received any proposal from either of the two parties involved in the transaction nor [did it] have insight into the state of discussions or terms being discussed between the parties’. As such, it suggested that ‘the inference that Telecom Egypt has a role to play in assisting Vodafone Group and [stc] to conclude a transaction is unclear and without foundation’. However, the Egyptian telco did point out that, having examined the options available to it, it remained ‘confident of its ability to execute a number of strategic options with an eye to preserve the interests of the company and its shareholders’. Specifically, the company said these options included the exercising of its right of first refusal to the stake held in Vodafone Egypt by Vodafone Group, or the right to consider accepting a mandatory tender offer for the 44.94% stake it currently holds in the Egyptian mobile operator.