No bid for Orascom’s Djezzy: Etisalat

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No bid for Orascom’s Djezzy: Etisalat

DUBAI/CAIRO — Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, also known as Etisalat, has not bid for the Algerian unit of Orascom Telecom, a spokesman for the UAE telecoms provider said on Sunday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 31 May 2010, 11:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

“We did not discuss with Orascom and did not make an offer,” Ahmed bin Ali said.

On Thursday, the Egyptian mobile firm said it would enter negotiations to sell its Djezzy unit to the Algerian government, which blocked a preferred deal with South Africa’s MTN .

Etisalat’s chairman, Mohammad Omran, said in February that the firm was interested in the Algerian market when the time was right and there had been speculation the Abu Dhabi-listed firm could make an offer for Djezzy.

Clarity on MTN talks

Orascom Telecom, Egyptian telecommunications firm, expects to know the outcome of talks to sell some of its African assets to South Africa’s MTNwithin days, it said on Sunday.

“The ongoing negotiations around the acquisition by South Africa’s MTN of some of Orascom Telecom’s African units will be determined within a week,” the Egyptian daily Al Mal reported on Sunday, quoting Orascom Executive Chairman Naguib Sawiris.

An Orascom official confirmed the remarks, which she said were made in an interview on Monday. Based on Sawiris’ comments, the result of the talks should be clear within days, she added.

The news helped cause a surge in Orascom shares, which were trading up 14.6 per cent as of 1007GMT. The Egyptian financial regulator sent Orascom an inquiry seeking clarity on any material news that could be moving its share price.

The Algerian government had said it would block any sale of Orascom’s Algerian unit Djezzy to MTN, a key component of a broader deal that would have made MTN the world’s third-biggest mobile operator if all Orascom’s assets were included.

The Algerian veto left in doubt the fate of some of Orascom’s other African assets, which sources said were part of the possible deal. Orascom is also exploring possible investments in four markets outside of Africa, Al Mal quoted Sawiris as saying in the interview.

On Thursday Orascom said it would negotiate the sale of Djezzy to the Algerian government, apparently bowing to weeks of pressure from Algerian authorities.

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