CAIRO: Shares in Egypt’s Mobinil are worth LE 283 to LE 337 ($51.78-61.66), much higher than the LE 245 France Telecom has offered to buy them at, its financial adviser said on Wednesday.
If all shareholders were to sell at the offered price, the purchase of Mobinil, a leading mobile service operator in Egypt, could cost France Telecom $2.9 billion.
According to Dow Jones, France Telecom said Wednesday it won’t increase its regulator-approved offer of LE 245.
Mobinil appointed the adviser, Prime Capital, after the Egyptian market regulator ordered it to seek an independent evaluation of the France Telecom offer. Prime issued its results in a two-page announcement in Al-Ahram newspaper.
“The board sees that the sale at the offered price does not reflect the fair value to small shareholders, but the final decision goes back to the holders, the announcement quoted Mobinil’s board as saying.
The mobile firm, the largest in Egypt by subscribers, has been at the center of a long dispute between its two main shareholders, Orascom Telecom and France Telecom, neither of which has a majority stake in the firm.
Orascom filed an appeal on Monday against the regulator’s decision to approve the bid by France Telecom subsidiary Orange Participations to buy Mobinil’s outstanding shares for LE 245 each beginning on Dec. 15 and ending on Jan. 14.
Orascom argued that France Telecom should have offered LE 273 for the shares, equivalent to a price set by an arbitration court last April for Mobinil shares held by Orascom through a holding company.
The deal would cost France Telecom $2.9 billion if it were to buy the holding company shares at LE 273 and the remaining shares at LE 245, according to a telecom analyst at brokerage EFG-Hermes.