France Telecom increases stake in Egypt’s Mobinil

France Telecom has agreed to buy the majority of the personal stake owned by Egyptian billionaire  Naguib Sawiris in Mobinil. Sawiris is executive chairman of Orascom Telecom, which maintains a stake in the mobile operator.

Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom and Sawiris, have signed finalised terms of their new agreements regarding the ownership of the firm, settling a long-running dispute between both groups concerning Mobinil in Egypt. The move increases the French company’s control in the Egyptian mobile-phone venture.

There will be no change to the existing ownership structure or their shareholders’ voting rights and the two telecoms operators to contribute their respective know-how and added value to the successful and profitable development of Mobinil and ECMS, the country’s leading mobile operator.

“We are a long-term industrial partner of Egypt and will use our expertise to remain a best-in-class operator for our 26 million customers,” said Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom.

Dr Tarek Kamel, Egyptian Minister of Communications and IT, added : “I am glad to witness this agreement which ensures the stability of Mobinil and empowers its further development of its telecom services.”

As a result of the buyout, France Telecom has a 71.25 per cent stake in Mobinil, which in turn, has a 51 per cent stake in Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS) in Egypt.

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