Orascom confirms MTN sale talks

Orascom has confirmed reports it is in talks with MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms operator, regarding a sale of its African assets.
The firm said parent company Weather Investments was discussing the sale of some of its operations in the market, but noted the talks are still at an early stage, and wouldn’t necessarily result in a deal.
“Orascom is aware that its parent company, Weather Investments, is in discussions with MTN Group, which may or may not lead to a transaction relating to the acquisition of control of Orascom and/or its businesses by MTN,” a statement from the firm revealed.
The talks could see MTN purchase assets worth $10 billion (€7.5 billion) according to local reports citing sources close to the deal.
Any deal could result in Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris gaining a stake in MTN, according to the original reports on the talks.
MTN is reportedly keen to shore-up its presence in Africa to stave-off increasing competition from global players including Vodafone and Orange, which are focussing more heavily on the continent to counter falling sales in Europe.
Earlier this week, France Telecom agreed to pay €226 million to Orascom as part of a settlement of a long-running dispute over control of Egyptian carrier Mobinil.