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Vodafone Ends Talks to Sell Egyptian Sales to Saudi Telecom

(Bloomberg) – Vodafone Group Plc concluded negotiations to sell its Egyptian business to Saudi Telecom Co., a deal that would have been priced at as much as $ 2.4 billion. Vodafone gave no reason to abandon negotiations to sell its 55% shareholding in Vodafone Egypt in a statement issued Monday. The remaining shares in Vodafone Egypt are held by state-controlled Telecom Egypt. Saudi Telecom had offered to pay $ 2.39 billion for the stake in January, and parties had extended talks due to delays in due diligence, amid coronavirus restrictions. Saudi Telecom had been in talks to reduce its offer, Bloomberg reported back in September. Sudi Saudi Telecom’s shares fell as much as 2.1% in Riyadh trading on Monday before matching losses. Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El- Sisi met in Cairo in recent days to discuss boosting inward investment, as well as developing a 5G network in the new administrative capital, according to a post on Facebook by the president’s spokesman on Sunday. “We believe that the Egyptian government is committed to an optimal framework for the telecommunications sector, which will enable Vodafone Egypt to achieve the country’s vision of digitalization and financial inclusion and create a technology hub to support our growth in the Africa region,” Read the statement. Vodafone has been focusing. its global footprint on Europe and Africa since Read took over in 2018, as part of its strategy to squeeze more out of what it considers to be the company’s core assets. when paying down debt. The company recently sold units in New Zealand and Malta, and is targeting an IPO of its mobile mast business in early 2021. Egyptian market regulations would require Saudi Telecom to submit a mandatory tender offer for all Vodafone Egypt, including the stake held by Telecom Egypt. (Updates with context of negotiations, moving shares) For more articles like this, visit us at bloomberg.com. Subscribe now to stay ahead of the most trusted source of business news. © 2020 Bloomberg LP

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