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December 4, 2006

Vodafone raises stake in Egyptian unit

The world's largest mobile operator, Vodafone Group Plc, has increased its majority stake in Vodafone Egypt by 4.31% as it looks to take advantage of a fast-growing telecom market that has low mobile penetration rates.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to the London Stock Exchange, the Newbury, UK-based operator raised its majority stake in Vodafone Egypt on Sunday from 50.59% to 54.9% in a deal worth EGP 1.15bn ($201m). Telecom Egypt, which is the North African’s country’s only fixed-line provider and is the other major shareholder in Vodafone Egypt, had tendered 10.35 million shares at EGP 100 ($17.49) per share to Vodafone.

The deal now means that Telecom Egypt is left with a 44.66% stake in Vodafone Egypt. Besides Vodafone’s 54.9% stake, there is also a free float of 0.44% in the operator.

Vodafone launched its tender offer through its Netherlands-based subsidiary Vodafone Europe BV.

Vodafone’s growth strategy over the past two years has been to grow its presence in emerging markets, as witnessed by its acquisitions of mobile assets in Eastern Europe, India, South Africa, and Turkey. The Egyptian telecoms market is attractive to Vodafone because it is fast-growing with a very low mobile penetration rate, giving plenty of scope for growth.

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