With the blocking of France Telecom’s offer for minority stakes in
the Egyptian mobile operator by Egyptian court, all hopes of the
operator to take full control of ECMS were dashed. The decision was
taken after the price of €1.5bn offered by France’s group to for
outstanding stakes in ECMS, due to expire on Thursday was considered to
be too low.
The decision is pronounced as victory of Orascom Telecom, locked in
a lengthy battle with the former French monopoly for control of Egypt’s
largest mobile company. The ownership and strategy of France Telecom,
the largest mobile operator in the Middle East by subscribers will also
loom in uncertainty because of the decision.
ECMS is controlled via Mobinil by France Telecom and Orascom in which France Telecom owns 71.25%, Orascom 28.75% and Mobinil owns 51%.
The two owners have been at loggerheads for years over a strategy for
the Egyptian operator.