MTN 'in advanced talks' to buy Orascom, assets
Cairo, April 28, 2010
South Africa's MTN Group has confirmed it is in talks with Orascom Telecom's parent firm Weather Investments to buy the Egyptian firm, or some of its assets, the latest bid by a mobile phone operator to gain market share in Africa.
Orascom's Algerian unit Djezzy, its Telecel Globe-branded sub-Saharan assets and its 50 percent stake in a Tunisian operation were being discussed with MTN, Africa's largest mobile operator by subscribers, said a source close to the deal .
Confirming the deal talks, he said Egypt's Orascom Telecom and South Africa's MTN were in advanced talks.
"Most of the terms of the deal with MTN are at a well-advanced stage and generally agreed upon by the two parties but the structure of a possible deal is still being discussed and that is why they are keeping open the other discussions," the source told Reuters on Tuesday.
However, he disclosed that Orascom was also talking to two others over its African assets. "In addition to MTN, Orascom is talking to a regional operator and a European one present in emerging markets," he said, without naming them.
Earlier in the day, Orascom asked the Egyptian stock exchange to allow trading to resume on its stock after it confirmed that its parent firm was in talks with MTN.
The firm said in a statement that it would make a further announcement "in due course as required".-Reuters