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Vodafone announced that its discussions with Saudi Telecom Company (stc) regarding the sale of Vodafone’s 55% shareholding in Vodafone Egypt have been terminated after a series of missed deadlines to complete the deal.

The announcement comes a day after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi held a meeting in Cairo with CEO of Vodafone Group Nick Read to discuss cooperation between the group and Egypt’s IT and communications sector.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said, “We believe that the Egyptian government is committed to an optimal framework for the telecoms sector, which will enable Vodafone Egypt to deliver on the country’s vision of digitization and financial inclusion and create a technology hub to support our growth in the African region.”

Saudi Telecom had offered to pay $2.39 billion for the stake in January, and parties had extended talks because of delays to due diligence, amid coronavirus restrictions. Saudi Telecom had been in discussions to reduce its offer back in September.

According to the Presidency statement, President El-Sisi discussed in the meeting with Read efforts to boost Vodafone investments in Egypt given the company’s knowledge in the fields of communications and digital transformation.

El-Sisi added that Egypt is seeking to benefit from Vodafone’s knowhow in terms of managing facilities and new cities, which are key factors in the government’s plan to go digital and achieve comprehensive development.

 

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