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Egypt court delays hearing on Mobinil sale

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An Egyptian court on Saturday set March 27 for the next hearing in the protracted dispute between France Telecom (FT) and Orascom Telecom over ownership of Mobinil.

“The hearing was postponed to review documents and papers,” the court said.

It is the second postponement since the court issued an initial ruling in January that halted an FT offer to buy outstanding shares in the Egyptian Company for Mobinil Services, known by its Mobinil brand name.

France Telecom and other major shareholder Orascom Telecom have been fighting a legal battle over ownership of Mobinil. The two firms jointly own the holding company that controls the firm, while Orascom also holds a 20 percent direct stake.

France Telecom (FT) subsidiary Orange Participations offered to buy all outstanding shares in ECMS for 245 Egyptian pounds each beginning last December 15. Orascom had appealed to the court after the market regulator allowed the offer.

Orascom argued France Telecom should have offered 273 pounds for the shares, the same price the French firm was ordered to pay Orascom in an earlier arbitration ruling for its stake in the holding company, which holds 51 percent of ECMS shares.

In total, the French firm owns 36.4 percent of the firm, while Orascom has 34.6 percent. Small shareholders own the remaining 29 percent.

Source: Reuters

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