France Telecom Makes Fresh Bid to Settle Egyptian Dispute

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

France Telecom is reported to have made a new offer to buy all the shares in the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS) in a new move to resolve the ongoing row with Orascom Telecom over their joint holding in Egypt's MobiNil.

In a statement though, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) said that it has rejected the tender offer represented by France Telecom, to buy up to 100% of ECMS.

The mobile phone network - which trades as MobiNil - is owned by a holding firm, ECMS - which is in turn owned by three parties, 20% directly by Orascom Telecom, 29% via the stock exchange and the remaining 51% is owned by a company, confusingly called MobiNil. This holding company is in turn 71.25% owned by France Telecom and 28.75% owned by Orascom Telecom.

Following a ruling earlier this year from the Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) there has been a dispute between the two main shareholders over a requirement to sell some, or possibly all, of the shares to France Telecom.

Mobile World