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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Telecom Egypt looks like it’s really thinking about buying Vodafone Egypt

M&A WATCH- Telecom Egypt looks like it’s really thinking about buying Vodafone Egypt: Telecom Egypt (TE) has asked its advisors, EFG Hermes and Citibank, to prepare a feasibility study and options to finance a transaction that would allow it to use its right of first refusal to acquire Vodafone Group's 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt, the local press reports, citing unnamed sources. The state-owned landline monopoly hasn’t made a final decision on the purchase, and offloading its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt or maintaining its stake after Vodafone Group sells its stake to the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) are also still on the table, the sources noted.

Background: STC had signed a non-binding MoU to purchase Vodafone Group’s 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt in a USD 2.39 bn cash agreement in January. TE confirmed it has the right of first refusal to STC’s offer, giving it the right to make a counter offer. The Egyptian Competition Authority has also yet to rule whether TE exercising its right of first refusal would run afoul of the competition act, given it owns a mobile network operator in the form of We. TE was reportedly in the market for financing to make a bid for the majority stake, although the notion does seem a bit far-fetched given the company’s current debt burden and liquidity constraints.

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