France Telecom, Orascom stand-off continues

France Telecom and Orascom Telecom remained deadlocked last night concerning the future of ECMS, Egypt's biggest mobile operator that they jointly control.

Orascom claimed FT missed a Wednesday's deadline for concluding a deal by which FT would take control of ECMS, Financial Times reports.
FT won an arbitration case, obliging Orascom to sell its 28.75% stake in Mobinil, a holding company that owns 51% of ECMS, to FT, which it is to pay Orascom €530m ($699m) for. The court set a deadline of 10th April, which Orascom extended until yesterday, saying that if the deal were not done by then, it would be called off. Orascom said FT failed to come up with the money.

FT already owns 71.25% of Mobinil but, under the terms of a shareholder agreement with Orascom, the French company did not control ECMS, the FT explains.

France's incumbent operator responded to Orascom's statement saying it and Orascom had submitted information to the Egyptian stock exchange on Wednesday "with a view to executing the transfer of Orascom Telecom's shares in Mobinil in accordance with the arbitral decision". It declined to comment further, the newspaper says.