France Telecom wants to buy US firm Motorola's shares in Egypt's biggest mobile phone company, Mobinil, which would make the French company the largest shareholder, a source from Egyptian business circles said Sunday.
Motorola currently holds 18 percent, France Telecom 23.5 percent, and Orascom Telecom belonging to Egyptian businessman Nagib Sawiris 26.1 percent, with the remainder shared around various private investors.
France Telecom plans next year a stock listing of all its mobile operations under the name of New Orange after buying the British group Orange, and wants to be in a strong position in the mobile market, before that happens, experts from the sector explained.
MobiNil is the biggest company on the Cairo stock exchange, and ended the week Thursday up by 2.61 percent at 78.55 Egyptian pounds ($21.22). The company had net profits of 140.8 million pounds ($38 million) in 1999.
The company started operating in May 1998 and now how around one million subscribers, compared to around 700,000 for its only competitor, Click — a consortium headed up by Vodafone and AirTouch Communications. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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