France Telecom, Orascom in truce over Mobinil

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 Apr 2010

France Telecom and Egypt's Orascom Telecom have ended a long-standing battle for control over Egyptian mobile operator ECMS, known more commonly as Mobinil.

The operators have signed a truce that will put an end to all disputes over their joint investment, the companies announced.

As part of the deal, the parties will draw up a revised shareholder agreement – but will not change existing ownership structure or voting rights, the companies said in a joint statement.

Mobinil is Egypt's largest mobile operator.

Under the current complicated ownership structure, Mobinil is 51%-owned by Mobinil Holdings, which is 71.25% controlled by France Telecom and 28.75% by Orascom.

But Orascom also owns a 20% direct stake in Mobinil, making ownership rights unclear.

The move by new CEO Stephane Richard to reach a compromise contrasts with the approach by predecessor Didier Lombard, who was determined not to cede to Orascom, FT.comsaid.

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