OT’s Cote D'Ivoire subsidiary sold for $40 million
Egyptian cellular conglomerate Orascom Telecom (OT) announced the sale of its 52.5 percents stake in Loteny Telecel of Cote D'Ivoire, part of OT’s sub-Saharan subsidiary Telecel International. A Share Purchase Agreement was signed with Access Telecom Mauritius, an emerging telecom player in West Africa, who will be paying $40 million to Telecel International in two installments over the course of one year.
Closing of the sale remains subject to regulatory and third party approvals. The move was taken in line with OT’s strategy to divest its sub-Saharan operation Telecel, stated a company press release. Acquired in late 2000, the loss-generating Telecel had burdened OT, which is seeking means of finance for its latest GSM license acquisitions in North Africa.
This agreement allows Telecel International to stabilize its financial situation without further commitments from shareholders. At the same time, the operation will continue to carry the Telecel name under an ongoing licensing arrangement. Although this move will reduce the size of the Telecel portfolio, it will remove over $114 million in debt from OT balance sheet equivalent to 524 million Egyptian pounds.
Telecel International is Africa’s largest GSM operator serving twelve markets. The company is in advanced talks with potential buyers for the sale of assets in West Africa, including Gabon, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. BNP Paribas was nominated OT’s chief financial advisor to the move. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)