Orascom denies Algeria cash payment reports
Cairo, June 12, 2010
Egypt's Orascom Telecom has not offered to pay the Algerian government any money and Algeria has not given up its right of first refusal on the firm's lucrative unit there, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.
Manal Abdel Hamid said media reports suggesting it had offered to pay Algeria were "completely unfounded and the company has never made statements or announcements to any media channels in this respect."
She said Orascom had not yet met with Algerian officials to discuss selling the unit, Djezzy, after agreeing to enter talks in late May.
A broader deal to sell Orascom assets to South Africa's MTN collapsed on Wednesday, largely because Algeria opposed the sale of Djezzy, Orascom's single largest source of revenue.
Algeria says that, under a law enacted in 2009, it has the first right to bid on Djezzy.-Reuters