France Telecom acquires 94% of Egypt's Mobinil

  • France Telecom has acquired 94 percent of Egyptian mobile phone company Mobinil in a tender offer, according to Egypt's stock exchange.

    The deal gives the French group control of a leading industry player in a volatile but lucrative emerging market.

    France Telecom bought most of the Mobinil shares it did not already own from its local venture partner, Sawiris's Orascom Telecom Media and Technology.

    France Telecom purchased of 93.9 million shares of the 100 million outstanding for $3.15 billion.

    Egypt is set to play a crucial role in the French group's expansion into the African and Middle East telecom markets.

    With more than 80 million people, Egypt is the Arab world's most populous country.

    Mobile subscriptions grew by 25 percent to 91.1 million in the year to March, defying a sharp economic slump after the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

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