Court rejects Mobinil sale to France Telecom

Egypt’s Administrative Court has overturned a decision by the Egyptian Authority for Financial Monitoring to sell the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services, better known as Mobinil, to France Telecom.

France Telecom (FT) hasn’t yet announced what subsequent steps it will take following the ruling.

Mobinil is a joint venture between France Telecom and Egyptian telecommunications giant Orascom Telecom (OT).

The court ruling said the decision by the Egyptian Authority for Financial Monitoring last December–which was supported by another decision from the grievances committee–approving the purchase offer put forward by FT violated the principles of transparency and equal opportunity.

According to the ruling, the financial authority’s decision to accept FT’s offer to buy Mobinil shares at LE245 instead of at LE273–the price set by an arbitration court–would unjustifiably harm the interests of shareholders and violate the principle of equal opportunity governing operations in the financial market.

Administrative court rulings are binding and implemented immediately, even if an appeal is in progress.

Meanwhile, Ahmed el-Sairafi, representative of the Egyptian Authority for Financial Monitoring, said he will submit a memorandum to the authority’s head to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling at the Supreme Administrative Court.

Hesham el-Alaili, vice president for FT in the Middle East, told Al-Masry Al-Youm in a phone conversation that FT has yet to examine the grounds of the ruling.

On the other hand, OT welcomed the court’s decision, with spokesperson Manal Abdel Hamid saying her company will soon issue a statement to announce its stance on recent developments.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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