Altimo fails to obtain majority stake in Orascom Telecom
Russian operator Altimo has failed to secure a direct majority stake in Egypt-based Orascom Telecom (OTH).
A buyout required a minimum 26.6% of the company to be sold, with shareholders only agreeing to sell 15.9% of OTH.
Altimo put in an offer of $1.8 billion for available shares in OTH in April this year, and, following a missed deadline on Monday, the company said it would be willing to take a smaller interest in OTH if the Egyptian financial market regulator allowed, Reuters reports.
Altimo offered 70 cents per share, and earlier this month OTH management advised shareholders to reject this offer which they believe to be too low.
Altimo’s majority owned Vimpelcom owns 51.9% of OTH, and already has an indirect interest in the Egyptian operator.
Yesterday, the Russian group reportedly asked the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to waive the amount of stock a minority shareholder can offer, as part of Egyptian regulatory rules.
“Even though this number falls below the 26% minimum threshold, this is still a significant percentage representing one third of the free float of OTH,” the company said in a statement.
“Therefore Altimo would like to honour its commitment of buying the shares at 70 cents from all shareholders that tendered and hence has applied to EFSA to waive this minimum requirement.”
It was rumoured that had Altimo been successful in its bid, Vimpelcom would have delisted OTH from both the London and Cairo stock exchanges.