Egypt’s second largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS, operating as MobiNil), has inked a deal for a EGP2.9 billion (USD475 million) consolidated loan. The funds, Zawya reports, will be used to repay some of the operator’s debts, while a portion will go towards the expansion of its cellular network.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, back in May 2012 European telecoms giant France Telecom-Orange (FT-Orange) increased its MobiNil to 94%, having completed the purchase of 93.9 million shares of the 100 million it did not previously hold at a pre-agreed price of EGP202.5 per share; the transaction cost it around EGP19 billion in total. The development came after FT-Orange the previous month had unveiled plans to spend up to EUR1.5 billion (USD1.97 billion) to increase its stake in MobiNil as part of its plans to ramp up its presence in emerging markets. At that date it confirmed it had reached an agreement with its partner in the Egyptian venture, Orascom Telecom Holdings, under which it would acquire all but 5% of MobiNil from Orascom at the EGP202.5 per share price. Later that same month Egypt’s financial market regulator, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), approved the tender offer, which then ran from 24 April 2012 to 23 May 2012.