Egypt's Linkdotnet up for grabs

Egyptian carrier Orascom Telecom is divesting its ISP business Linkdotnet, with Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Telecom Egypt vying for the asset. The sale is being  handled by Orascom financial advisor EFG Hermes.

Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris has confirmed that Vodafone Egypt, Telecom Egypt, Mobinil  and a number of financial organizations have already submitted offers to buy the ISP. UAE-based carrier Etisalat is also mooted as part of the list competing for Linkdotnet.

Mobinil is owned by France Telecom and Orascom Telecom and is currently embroiled in an ownership row. Recently an arbitration court ruled that Orascom should sell France Telecom its stake in a holding company that owns 51% of Mobinil.

The deal failed to transpire as Egypt's regulator said the ruling also obliged France Telecom to bid for the remaining shares in Mobinil at an equivalent price per share.

France Telecom disputes this and the regulator has since rejected two of the French firm's offers.

Swarinis said that if Mobinil secured the best bid for Linkdotnet  it would be an indication of “Orascom Telecom continuing to be a shareholder in Mobinil and its desire to maintain Mobinil as the premier and biggest mobile firm in Egypt. "