June 27 (Reuters) – Talks to boost Telecom Egypt’s (ETEL.CA) stake in Vodafone’s (VOD.L) Egypt unit ended because the British firm insisted on selling all or none of its share, the unit’s head said in remarks published on Sunday.
Fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt, which is eager to increase its exposure to the competitive Egyptian mobile market that has eroded its revenues, said in May it was considering raising its 45-percent stake in Vodafone Egypt.
But in June the firms said the talks had ended without a sale. [ID:nLDE6501N3]
“Telecom Egypt expressed interest in raising its share in Vodafone Egypt through numerous phone discussions and meetings, in which the international company insisted on selling its whole stake,” al-Mal reported, citing Chief Executive Hatem Dowidar.
Dowidar played down the chance of any other body competing for a share in Vodafone Egypt if negotiations were reopened, saying Telecom Egypt had a right to change its offer if there were any competing offers, the newspaper said.
Telecom Egypt has said it would have the right of first refusal in any sale of Vodafone’s stake in the Egypt unit. [ID:nLDE651074]
Egyptian Communications Minister Tarek Kamel was also quoted in al-Borsa newspaper on Sunday as saying it was certain the government would list more of its 80-percent share in Telecom Egypt once the stock market improved.
The minister last month said the landline monopoly might sell some of its stake on the bourse, but had made no final decision. [ID:nLDE6271CB]
The government floated 20 percent of Telecom Egypt in 2005. (Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Ron Popeski)