Orascom interested in Vodafone Egypt stake
Orascom eyes Vodafone stake and gains approval from Algerian authorities to start talks regarding sale of its operation in Algeria
Orascom remains interested in taking a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt, even if the move meant the operator would be forced to sell its 30% stake in Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil, the company's chairman Naguib Sawiris told Al Arabiya television.
Sawiris said that the larger stake would be preferable as it would mean Orascom would be "the only ones who are present in the company," Reuters quoted the chairman as saying.
Vodafone Egypt attracted attention after in emerged that Vodafone had started discussions to sell its 55% stake to its Egyptian partner, Telecom Egypt, which holds a 45% stake in the company.
In other news, Orascom Telecom said it has been given approval by the Algerian government to start talks regarding the sale of Djezzy, its Algerian unit, according to UAE-based Arabic daily newspaper, al-Mal.
Manal Abdel Hamid, an Orascom spokesperson, said that the Algerian government had given the green light for talks regarding the complete sale of Djezzy, or just parts of the company, according to the report.
Orascom had originally entered talks with South Africa's MTN Group about the sale of some of its assets, including Djezzy, although the deal remains in doubt since the Algerian government announced that it would not allow Djezzy to be sold to MTN.
Orascom is also reported to have said that it would have preferred to keep Djezzy as its main source of income, but had been obliged to enter talks over its sale to the Algerian government, according to Reuters.