Vodafone will continue investments in Egypt after stake sale: CEO

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jan 2020

PM  with Vodafone CEO
Egypt's Prime minister Mostafa Madbouly in his meeting with Vodafone CEO Nicholas Jonathan Read and Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat. (Photo: Egyptian Cabinet)

Vodafone Group CEO Nicholas Jonathan Read said on Tuesday that his company will continue its investments in Egypt after selling its 55% stake in its Egyptian unit to Saudi Arabia's largest telecom STC, according to a statement by the Egyptian cabinet.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to sell its 55% stake in its Egyptian unit for $2.392 billion.

The sale is in line with the global company's strategy to focus its operations on Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, Read said in the statement. "It will reduce our net debt and unlock value for our shareholders."

Vodafone Group will continue to provide other services in Egypt, the CEO said, citing the company's data centers business and its work in Egypt's comprehensive health insurance system.

STC said in a message sent to Ahram Online that the final value of the deal "will be set upon the signing of the final...agreement."

"The potential acquisition of Vodafone Egypt is in line with our expansion strategy in the MENA region," STC CEO Nasser al Nasser said.

"The transaction, which is still subject to detailed due diligence, confirms STC's eagerness to maintain a leadership position" in the region, he said.

Vodafone Egypt started operating in Egypt in 1998, formerly under the name Click GSM. It has the biggest share of Egypt's mobile market by customer numbers, with over40 million subscribers.

State-owned landline provider Telecom Egypt owns the remaining 45% stake in Vodafone. It said earlier this week it had no intention to sell its share.

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