France Telecom, Orascom fight over Mobinil

The dispute over France Telecom's acquisition of 28.75% of Mobinil from Orascom Telecom for €530 million rumbles on, Telecompaper  notes. The French operator has asked Orascom to resolve difficulties with its creditors as quickly as possible and to provide a clear indication as to when the Mobinil shares under pledge will become available.

Orascom said it is prepared to transfer its stake in Mobinil to France Telecom, but that the procedure was being held up by the Egyptian financial markets authority.

At the end of the 30-day period fixed by the Arbitration Court, the Mobinil shares held by Orascom remain under pledge as Orascom has not met the conditions for their release with its creditor banks.

The Arbitration Court's decision provided for such a situation through the insertion of a penalty of €50,000 per day to be levied against Orascom from 10 April until the full execution of the award, Telecompaper continues.

France Telecom said the necessary funds for the payment of this transaction are already available and that if the situation remains unchanged, it reserves the right to enter into direct relations with Orascom's creditors as permitted by the conditions governing such pledged shares.

After this, France Telecom wishes to re-enter into discussions with the Egyptian market authorities to make an offer to minority and individual shareholders of 51% Mobinil subsidiary ECMS.

Orascom said that it had complied with the deadline to execute the transfer of Mobinil shares, but the Egyptian Exchange said it was unable to execute the transfer because France Telecom failed to submit the necessary documents.

The exchange also acknowledged that it must comply with a ruling by the Egyptian Capital Market Authority requiring a mandatory tender offer for ECMS triggered by the Arbitration Court award.