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Orascom Telecom to discontinue France Telecom court case

Puts an end to legal dispute over the shared ownership of Mobinil

By CBR Staff Writer

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom said that it is ending its legal proceedings in an Egyptian court against France Telecom in a long running battle between the two companies over the shared ownership of the Egyptian mobile network operator, Mobinil.

The move is the latest development in the on going legal dispute between the two companies over the sale of Mobinil shares. France Telecom owns 71.25% stake in Mobinil while Orascom has a 28.75% stake.

The spat between the two companies began in 2007, as Orascom initiated arbitration against France Telecom at the Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce, seeking to force France Telecom to transfer its Mobinil shares over to Orascom.

However, the court ruled in favour of France Telecom and asked Orascom to transfer its stake in Mobinil to France Telecom.

Since the court ruling, the French carrier has been trying to make an offer to buy minority shareholders out of ECMS (Egyptian Capital Market Authority). But, the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA) has rejected the two offers of France Telecom, saying that they were too low.

Orascom filed an appeal to the Egyptian Economic Court in May requesting the sale of shares in Mobinil be rescinded because of France Telecom’s failure to fulfil the conditions of the deal.

Orascom said in a statement yesterday, that the proceedings before the Economic Court are “no longer necessary in light of recent public pronouncements by FT, which make it clear that… FT has no intention of extending a public tender offer on the same terms as those contained in the Award and is therefore not in a position to conclude the sale as mandated by the ruling of the Capital Market Authority.”

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Orascom described in a statement, the latest move as an “amicable gesture” to focus attention on the business of Mobinil.

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