|France Telecom and Orascom Reach Deal on Mobinil|
France Telecom had signed a non-binding accord to acquire most of the stake held by Egyptian mobile phone services company Orascom in their ECMS cellphone joint venture.
Orascom will sell its 20% holding in Mobinil/ECMS at 202.5 Egyptian pounds per share to France Telecom which would then launch a general offer for the shares outstanding.
Orascom will retain a 5.0% interest in the company, a joint statement said, adding that the deal was subject to final board approval and regulatory clearance.
It said that the accord would establish a solid base for their future cooperation, with Orascom France Telecom's strategic partner in Egypt.
France Telecom controls 71.25% of Mobinil and has been seeking to expand its control over the Egyptian mobile phone provider.
In April 2010, an Egyptian administrative court ruled against a France Telecom bid to take over Mobinil, cancelling a previous decision by the market regulator.
France Telecom had won permission to buy Mobinil shares for 245 pounds (45.05 dollars) each, starting in December 2010, after the regulator turned down three previous lower bids.