FT denies seeking new MobiNil partner

France Telecom (FT) Vice-President for Asia, Africa and the Middle East Hisham el-Alaily denied that his company had plans to replace Orascom Telecom as its local partner in mobile phone company MobiNil. "We’re giving priority to negotiations currently underway with our existing partner to overcome our differences," said el-Alaily. "Until now, there’s been no mention of alternative partners."

FT recently obtained approval from the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to purchase 100 percent of MobiNil.

"But we won’t offer more than the LE245-per-share price approved by the EFSA," explained el-Alaily, ruling out the possibility of a better deal from another company. "According to the law, a better offer must be at least two percent more," he said. "Who would offer this for a minority stake?"

Asked about the possibility of resorting to international arbitration in the event that the two companies’ differences are not resolved, El-Alaily said: "Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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