MTN eyes up Orascom's African assets - reports

Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris could secure a stake in MTN, with the South Africa-based telco reported to be keen on Orascom's African assets

Tags: EgyptMTN GroupOrascom Telecom HoldingSouth Africa
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MTN eyes up Orascom's African assets - reports MTN is reported to be discussing raising financing of around $5 billion to buy assets from Orascom.
By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  April 25, 2010

Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris could secure a stake in MTN, in a deal that would see the South African telco take most of Orascom's South African assets, according to reports

MTN, Africa's largest mobile operator, is in talks with Orascom about acquiring African assets led by its Algerian mobile business, reported the Financial Times.

MTN declined to identify the target but it did confirm it was in talks about a transaction.

The UK newspaper said that MTN is considering buying Orascom's mobile businesses in Algeria, Tunisia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

One analyst quoted by the paper valued the assets at about US$6bn, and he said that a potential deal could involve Orascom's Sawiris taking stock in the acquirer.

Meanwhile an unnamed banking source told Reuters that MTN is discussing raising financing of around $5 billion to buy assets from Orascom, including its Algerian unit Djezzy.

Last year MTN and Indian telco Bharti failed to merge the two companies. Bharti is now on the verge of securing a deal to buy Kuwaiti telco Zain's African assets.  

Orascom chairman Sawiris said recently that he believed there would be large scale consolidation in the telecom sector, and he has said that Orascom could be a party to that consolidation, or play the role of consolidator.

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