France Telecom yesterday said that it would acquire most of its partner's stake in Egyptian telecom operator Mobinil for €1.5 billion ($1.97 billion).
France's biggest phone company will buy Egyptian partner Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding's stake in Mobinil, taking its holding in Egypt's second biggest operator to 95 per cent.
Orascom owns 20 per cent in Mobinil directly and 29 per cent through the joint venture Egyptian Company for Mobile Services, or ECMS with France Telecom.
France Telecom, which holds a 51-per cent stake in Mobinil, will buy 15 per cent of the 20 per cent held by Orascom at 202.5 Egyption pounds a share. It will then launch a tender offer for the remaining 29 per cent stock of the minority shareholders of ECMS, the listed portion of Mobinil, at the same price.
If all the shares are tendered, France Telecom will hold a controlling 95 per cent stake in Mobinil, and Orascom, run by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, will own the remaining 5 per cent but retain about 30 per cent of voting rights.
Orascom will have the right to nominate three members to the 13-member board at Mobinil.