Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Are Compliant - Says Orascom on ICC Ruling

­Following a legal ruling last week, Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) says that it has transferred shares it holds in Mobinil to France Telecom. There has been a quite public dispute between the two companies since the legal ruling, with Orascom claiming that the paperwork hadn't arrived, and France Telecom insisting that Orascom was being obdurate.

OTH says that it has complied with the decision of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and today applied to the trading committee of the Egyptian Exchange to execute the transfer subject to the receipt of the purchase price from FT.

For its part, France Telecom says that on several occasions, it has sent certificates from its bank confirming the availability of the funds required to transfer the Mobinil holding company’s shares. France Telecom says that it has also offered to establish three-way discussions with Orascom Telecom and its creditor banks with a view to ensuring the rapid removal of the pledge enabling the award’s execution.

OTH says that it was informed that the Egyptian Exchange was unable to execute the transfer of shares as France Telecom didn't provide the Egyptian Exchange with the necessary documents to execute the transfer.

In a regulatory filing, Orascom also said that France Telecom has not paid the purchase price to execute the transfer in compliance with the shareholders agreement and the decision of the ICC.

After the order is carried out, France Telecom will end up with sole ownership of the holding company, and hence have a 51% ownership of the mobile network. Orascom Telecom will retain its 20% direct stake in the mobile network, and the stock market float will be unaffected.

The company is the largest operator in the market, and according to figures from the Mobile World database, has a market share of around 48%.

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