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Monday, 17 February 2020

STC may find a way to bypass MTO for TE’s share in Vodafone Egypt

M&A WATCH- Could STC find a way out of having to make a bid for 100% of Vodafone Egypt? The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is planning to submit paperwork to the Capital Market Authority arguing that it should be exempt from making a mandatory tender offer for Telecom Egypt's stake in Vodafone Egypt, Al Shorouk reports, citing an unnamed source. It remains unclear what these golden ticket papers are that would allow STC to circumvent the Financial Regulatory Authority, which earlier this month ruled that the Saudi company must submit a MTO for TE’s 44.8% stake in Vodafone Egypt if it goes ahead with its USD 2.39 bn acquisition of Vodafone Group’s 55% stake.

Meanwhile, TE might beat STC to the punch and acquire the entirety of Vodafone: State-owned TE brought EFG Hermes and Citibank on board to advise on its options and confirmed in a regulatory filing last week that it has the right of first refusal to STC's purchase and pre-emption rights to make a counteroffer. The Egyptian Competition Authority is looking into whether this would violate competition rules since TE already owns the We mobile network. TE can also secure financing to put forward an acquisition offer or seek to sell its stake in Vodafone in the form of a partial sell-off in exchange for a seat at the company’s board of directors.

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