CAIRO: Mobinil shareholders approved the $130-million purchase of two internet assets from major shareholder Orascom Telecom on Saturday.
The purchase finalizes a deal made possible by an ownership pact reached in April between Orascom and co-owner France Telecom.
Mobinil, with Egypt’s largest pool of mobile subscribers, will acquire LinkDotNet and Link Egypt to add fixed-line internet to its mobile data and voice offerings, investors agreed at a shareholder meeting in Cairo.
"I’m very happy, it’s something that I have been pushing for," chairman Alex Shalaby said, adding that the purchase could be immediately incorporated into Mobinil.
The deal was long stymied by the dispute between Orascom and France Telecom, with Cairo-based Orascom unwilling to sell the assets to Mobinil while it risked being shut out of its home market.
The $130 million price tag was agreed in April as part of a broad deal that kept Mobinil’s complex ownership structure intact.
LinkDotNet’s fixed-line internet service competes against market leader TE Data, the ISP arm of landline monopoly Telecom Egypt. Link Egypt provides the infrastructure for LinkDotNet.
LinkDotNet’s chief executive officer, Karim Beshara, estimated the firm’s market share at 30 percent for DSL and 40 percent for dial-up internet.