STC’s attempts to procure a $2 billion loan in order to acquire a stake in Vodafone Egypt have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
The Saudi operator reached a $2.4 billion agreement to acquire the UK-based Vodafone Group’s 55% stake in its Egyptian unit. STC had been discussing a package with various banks in order to finance the deal.
Bloomberg reported that STC wants the deal to proceed but the current global economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has forced it to shelve discussions around debt-based financing. STC may resume these talks in the future but is also looking into other avenues.
STC and Vodafone expected the deal to close by the end of June 2020, although Vodafone Egypt’s minority shareholder Telecom Egypt suggested in February that there could be regulatory complications.
The 45% stakeholder noted that the country’s Financial Regulatory Authority wanted STC to assume control over 100% of Vodafone Egypt and would therefore be unlikely to approve any other arrangement.