Orascom to challenge Mobinil deal

Egypt's Orascom Telecom will challenge in court a decision to allow France Telecom to buy all of mobile operator Mobinil's shares in a deal worth a potential $2.9 billion (Dh10.64bn), Orascom said yesterday.

Orascom and France Telecom are Mobinil's main shareholders, but neither has a majority stake. The two have been locked in an ownership dispute since 2007.

An appeals committee on Saturday rejected a request by Orascom that the regulator cancel its earlier approval of the France Telecom purchase.

Orascom "intends to file a case before the Administrative Court [Investment Division] to challenge the decision and request its annulment and seek an injunctive relief to stay the decision," the company said.

France Telecom (FT) subsidiary Orange Participations offered to buy all shares of Mobinil, Egypt's biggest mobile firm by subscribers, outstanding for E£245 (Dh163.79) each beginning on December 15. The offer ends on January 14.

Orascom said it would file the case before January 14 and that it "shall continue amicable negotiations with FT".

Both France Telecom and Orascom own Mobinil shares directly and indirectly through a holding company owned jointly by the two companies.

Orascom argued that FT should have offered E£273 for the shares to be bought through the stock exchange.

 

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