Bloomberg News

Orascom Rises Before Shareholders Meet on Mobinil: Cairo Mover

March 01, 2012

Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding SAE (OTMT) advanced for a third day before shareholders meet to vote on an offer from France Telecom SA (FTE) to buy most of the Egyptian company’s stake in mobile-phone operator Mobinil.

The shares gained 1.9 percent to 1.60 Egyptian pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo after surging 44 percent last month. The Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services, which operates under the brand Mobinil, rose 1 percent to 178.85 pounds. The benchmark EGX 30 Index (EGX30) added 0.4 percent. The meeting is scheduled to take place after the market’s close.

Orascom, headed by billionaire Naguib Sawiris, said on Feb. 23 it would earn about 6 billion pounds ($995 million) from the sale. France Telecom reached a preliminary agreement with Sawiris to buy most of his stake for 202.5 pounds a share and will offer the same amount on Mobinil shares traded on the Egyptian Exchange, valuing the deal at about $2 billion.

“I don’t think there will be any problem” for Sawiris to obtain approval from Orascom shareholders, said Amr Elalfy, director and co-head of research at Cairo-based investment bank CI Capital. “Eventually the deal will go through but there may be some delay pending regulatory approval.”

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, which regulates financial markets, said Feb. 14 that Mobinil must appoint an independent adviser to assess France Telecom’s offer.

France Telecom owns about 71 percent of Mobinil Telecom Co., which controls Mobinil, and Orascom Telecom Media owns the rest. Orascom Telecom Media also holds a 20 percent direct stake in Mobinil, while about 29 percent is traded on the Egyptian Exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at asalha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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