Telecom Egypt has invited proposals for financial advisors to help it divest its 45% stake in the local unit of Vodafone.
The predominantly state-owned operator, which essentially holds a monopoly on fixed-line services in the country, is looking to offload its stake in Vodafone Egypt – worth around $1.6 billion – since it now holds a unified licence, allowing it to provide mobile services. Owning part of another mobile operator therefore creates a conflict of interest.
Telecom Egypt paid $358 million for its mobile licence, with the condition that existing operators Etisalat, Orange and Vodafone were allowed to use its fixed network.
Egypt’s government has said that it intends to sell the stake by the end of 2015. The operator has solicited the services of local and international banks to advise on the sale. Reportedly, Vodafone has first refusal on the stake.
Vodafone leads the Egyptian mobile market with over 42 million connections at the end of Q3 this year.