Serious negotiations between MENA Cables and local government companies for acquiring a controlling stake

Ahmed Farahat
3 Min Read
An Orascom Telecom Holding SAE sign sits outside the company's headquarters at Nile City Towers, in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. OAO VimpelCom's borrowing costs are falling to record lows, a sign investors will support higher indebtedness to fund acquisitions as the Russian mobile-phone operator buys assets from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. Photographer: Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg

A number of local companies and other state-owned companies have entered into serious negotiations with Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) to acquire a controlling stake or a major one in Middle East North Africa is a submarine communications cable system(MENA Cabels), one of the group’s subsidiaries, as well as India’s Bharti Airtel.

Sources told Daily News Egypt that a number of local companies, investors and other government companies are currently negotiating with MENA cables, a subsidiary of OTMT, and the Indian company Bharti Airtel.

OTMT has reached an initial agreement with Network i2i, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel for the sale of MENA Cables, a subsidiary of the Group, which owns 100% directly and indirectly in a deal worth $90m.

The sources pointed out that this will be the predominant direction of the deal and give a controlling share or a majority of local investors or companies belonging to government agencies in the sale for the reasons of national considerations.

The sources said that the sale is not suspended and we are still in negotiations with local investors, as well as waiting for the process of termination of the procedures and approvals of the parties concerned.

The sources expected that the coming period will witness positive developments in resolving the sale deal with all parties, with the final signing of the deal soon.

OTMT said earlier that the sale came as part of the company’s exit from its non-core investments and the use of proceeds to support the company’s investments in its key investment sectors, whether financial, logistics or real estate.

It is noteworthy that the company MENA Cables obtained a license to extend the sea cable in 2008, but the licenses for drilling in Egypt between the landing station Zafarana and Abu Talat stopped for more than 4 years because of security approvals, and in 2014 the company received approval to operate the cable inside Telecom Egypt, in a deal worth $30m. The company’s sales of cable capacity of 100 GB / s were recorded at EGP189.5m during the first nine months of 2016.

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