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Vodafone Remains in Talks to Sell Stake in Egypt Unit to STC

(Bloomberg) — Vodafone Group Plc said it remains in talks to sell its Egyptian business to Saudi Telecom Co., after failing to finalize terms before a deadline.



A worker cleans the floor in the virtual reality (VR) area of the Saudi Telecom Co. stand on the opening day of the MWC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. At the wireless industry’s biggest conference, over 100,000 people are set to see the latest innovations in smartphones, artificial intelligence devices and autonomous drones exhibited by more than 2,400 companies.


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A worker cleans the floor in the virtual reality (VR) area of the Saudi Telecom Co. stand on the opening day of the MWC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. At the wireless industry’s biggest conference, over 100,000 people are set to see the latest innovations in smartphones, artificial intelligence devices and autonomous drones exhibited by more than 2,400 companies.

Vodafone “remains in discussions with Saudi Telecom to finalize the transaction in the near future,” and “now looks to Saudi Telecom and Telecom Egypt to find a suitable agreement to enable the transaction to close,” the U.K.-based mobile carrier said in a statement.

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Saudi Telecom offered to pay $2.39 billion for a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt in January. It had to extend a memorandum of understanding to acquire the stake in July because of delays to due diligence amid restrictions in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The remaining shares in Vodafone Egypt are held by state-owned Telecom Egypt.

Saudi Telecom said in a separate statement that its non-binding MoU to acquire the stake expired without a deal. Saudi Telecom and Vodafone will continue talks, it said.

Egyptian market regulations would require Saudi Telecom to submit a mandatory tender offer for all of Vodafone Egypt, including the stake held by Telecom Egypt.

Saudi Telecom had been looking to reduce its offer for the stake in Vodafone Egypt, people familiar told Bloomberg earlier this month.

(Releads with Vodafone statement.)

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