Algeria blocks Djezzy sale to MTN

26 May 2010

(MENAFN) The Algerian government said that it has rejected a request for South African group MTN to be allowed to buy Egyptian group Orascom Telecom’s Algerian mobile phone unit Djezzy, Reuters reported.

The Algerian state holds to its right of pre-emption over the sale of Djezzy, and will not allow its purchase by the South African firm MTN, trade minister Hachemi Djaaboub said.

Algeria blocked the Djezzy sale last month and said it wanted to buy the business, dealing a blow to MTN’s plans to buy all or part of Orascom Telecom’s assets and create what could be the world’s third-biggest mobile phone service provider.

Djezzy is regarded as a jewel among Orascom Telecom’s foreign assets, accounting last year for about a third of the Egyptian parent company’s revenues. Buying it would give MTN a much-needed foothold in North Africa.

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