By Patrick Werr / Reuters
CAIRO: Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media Technology (OTMT) said on Wednesday it hoped to wrap up negotiations within a few weeks with France Telecom over the sale of most of its stake in Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil.
Under the terms of a preliminary accord signed last week, France Telecom would buy the OTMT’s stake for LE 202.5 per share, netting the Egyptian company about LE6 billion ($994 million).
OTMT would retain a 5 percent stake in Mobinil, continue to provide management oversight and retain three seats on its 13-director board under the accord, it said.
The Egyptian company said on Wednesday it was now negotiating a put option mechanism for its remaining 5 percent stake, which would be exercisable between 2015 and 2017, to replace to existing mechanisms.
“OTMT is optimistic that the negotiations will be completed and the transactions be launched in the coming few weeks,” OTMT said in an emailed statement.
The company has said it will give shareholders much of the $1 billion it stands to gain by selling its Mobinil stake, but keep part of it for new business opportunities.
OTMT was formed from assets still controlled by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris after he sold his stake in Orascom Telecom last year.
The company has investments in Egypt, North Korea, Pakistan, Lebanon and other North African and Middle Eastern countries, in mobile companies, media and technology and cable businesses.