Sale of Vodafone Egypt stake to STC is delayed – again

Sale of Vodafone Egypt stake to STC is delayed – again

There’s been another delay to Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) plans to buy a majority stake in Vodafone Egypt from the UK’s Vodafone Group.

As regular readers will know, earlier this year the UK’s Vodafone Group announced a deal through which it would sell its 55 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt to STC, Saudi Arabia’s largest operator, for $2.4 billion. The deal was said to be part of plans to reduce Vodafone’s debt and refocus on core markets, simplifying the operator group to what were described as “two differentiated, scaled geographic regions: Europe and sub-Saharan Africa”.

Now, according to Reuters, STC is extending the Vodafone Egypt stake purchase for a second time. STC has said that it will take another two months to complete the purchase.

The non-binding agreement, signed in January, had to be extended for the first time due to what were described as logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic; the process was extended by 90 days in April. STC has now extended the process again, for a sixty-day period ending in September, citing the same reasons.

TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reports that, according to the Saudi company, more time is required ‘to complete the processes related to the transaction, including the due diligence’.

Vodafone Egypt is the largest operator in Egypt with more than 40 million mobile connections. State-owned operator Telecom Egypt also owns a stake in Vodafone Egypt.