Telecom Egypt Co., the country’s monopoly fixed-line telephone provider, tumbled the most in 11 months after the government set a one-year deadline for it to exit a local mobile phone venture with Vodafone Group Plc.
Telecom Egypt Co. will have to pay 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($359 million) for a unified license giving the country’s landline monopoly the right to offer services over competitors’ mobile-phone networks.
Orascom Telecom Holding SAE , the biggest mobile-phone operator in the Middle East by users, will try to buy Vodafone Group Plc’s 55 percent holding in its Egyptian unit if it’s for sale, Chairman Naguib Sawiris said.
Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services , or Mobinil, retreated to second place in terms of market share for the first time since the introduction of mobile phones in Egypt in 1998, Al Mal newspaper reported, using its own calculations.
Vodafone Group Plc is in talks to sell its 55 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications Co., a person familiar with the matter said. The stake is valued by analysts at about 3 billion pounds ($4.3 billion).
Vodafone Egypt’s operations and expansion plans were unaffected during acquisition talks between its parent company, Vodafone Group Plc, and Telecom Egypt, Al Alam Al Youm reported, citing Chief Executive Hatem Dowidar.
Telecom Egypt, the monopoly fixed- line operator, expects the regulator to decide on the fate of its stake in Vodafone Egypt and the resolution of a dispute with two incumbent mobile phone operators next year, paving the way for obtaining Egypt’s fourth mobile license.
Habib Haddad says when he needed money three years ago to fund Yamli, an online Arabic transliteration service, he had to sell his furniture. His deal with Yahoo! Inc. this week is a sign investors are more willing to put money into Middle East startups.