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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Is Vodafone Egypt back in play?

Is Saudi’s STC making another run at Vodafone Egypt? Saudi Telecom (STC) may be resurrecting its bid to acquire a majority stake in Vodafone Egypt, nine months after talks broke down with its parent company. Banking sources tell CNBC Arabia that the Saudi company is looking to secure a USD 1.1 bn soft loan to help finance the acquisition.

Back from the dead? STC was in talks with Vodafone Plc for most of last year to acquire its 55% stake in its local subsidiary. The Saudi firm initially valued the company at USD 4.4 bn after submitting a USD 2.39 bn non-binding offer for the stake, but later tried to negotiate a lower price after the onset of covid-19. After a series of delays and expired deadlines, Vodafone announced in December that talks had collapsed, but didn’t provide a reason.

CNBC claims that the two companies are back in talks, saying unnamed sources tell it there are “ongoing negotiations.”

Vodafone and Telecom Egypt denied there are talks: A company official told Youm7 that there are no ongoing talks with STC. Telecom Egypt, which owns 45% of Vodafone Egypt, denied knowledge of the news in a statement (pdf).

STC is coming off a successful IPO in Saudi Arabia: STC has just raised almost USD 1 bn after selling 20% of its solutions subsidiary in an IPO on the Tadawul, it announced yesterday.

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