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Vodafone bidding for Orascom net unit

Other contenders for LinkDotNet subsidiary include Telecom Egypt, Mobinil and unnamed financial institutions

Vodafone Egypt is bidding for Orascom Telecom’s internet LinkDotNet unit, a local newspaper has claimed.

Al-Masry Al Youm reported on Wednesday that Vodafone will be competing against unnamed financial institutions, as well as Telecom Egypt and Mobinil, which is partly-owned by Orascom, for LinkDotNet. Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris revealed that it would be sold to the contender with the highest bid.

Mobinil has been the centre of an ownership row between its two main shareholders, Orascom Telecom and France Telecom since 2007, with an arbitration court recently ruling that Orascom should sell its stake in a holding company that owns 51% of Mobinil to France Telecom. Orascom also has its own, direct 20% stake in Mobinil.

Egypt’s regulator said the ruling meant that France Telecom should bid for the remaining shares in Mobinil at an equivalent price per share, which the French firm disputed leading dropped court proceedings against France Telecom in an attempt ''to avoid unnecessary costs and in an amicable gesture to focus attention on the business of running Mobinil.''