Orascom and MTN confirm takeover talks
Orascom says that talks "may or may not lead to a transaction relating to the acquisition or control of Orascom and or its businesses "
Orascom and MTN today confirmed that they are discussing a deal that analysts believe could see the South African telco take control of Orascom's African assets.In a statement released today, Egypt-based Orascom said it "is aware that its parent company, Weather Investments SpA, is in discussions with MTN Group which may or may not lead to a transaction relating to the acquisition or control of Orascom and or its businesses by MTN". Earlier today MTN confirmed that it is in discussions with Weather Investments, the investment vehicle of Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris, which has a 51% stake in Orascom Telecom.Orascom has operations in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Central African Republic, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.Daniel Jones, partner at Onda Analytics, said geographic clusters of operations are important for operators in Africa to achieve the scale required for an efficient cost base. "Orascom's Telecel Globe assets are in countries where MTN has operations in bordering countries...while the operations are small, they are a good fit for MTN," he said. "The Algerian and Tunisian operations are of more significant in size and would mark further inroads in the Middle East and North Africa region for MTN, complementing its operations in Syria and Iran."
Orascom today asked the Egyptian Exchange to restore trading on its stock, after it was suspended following press speculation about the talks with MTN.