Jan 29, 2020

Saudi Telecom to pay $2.4bn for Vodafone Egypt stake

Saudi Telecom Company has signed an initial agreement to acquire Vodafone's 55 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt for $2.4bn in the latest step to unravel the British group's global empire. The sale of the Vodafone Egypt stake, which follows the disposal of its Qatari business in 2018, means Vodafone will be split between its European operations and its sub-Saharan African arm under the Vodacom banner. The prospective deal, which values Vodafone Egypt at $4.4bn, comes as Riyadh-listed STC seeks to expand regionally. Vodafone Egypt is the largest telecoms operator in Egypt by market share and the British telecoms company was the country's largest foreign investor. Egypt has been a growth engine for Vodafone in the past but the group also became a lightning rod for criticism by activist groups during the Arab Spring in 2011 after its network was used to send text messages telling Egyptians to "Confront the traitors and criminals" on behalf of the government, before it was turned off.

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