Algeria ready to buy 100% of Orascom unit

08 May 2010

(MENAFN) Algerian Finance Minister Karim Djoudi said that the government is prepared to buy 100 percent of Orascom Telecom’s Algerian unit, APS news agency reported.

Asked in parliament about plans by Orascom Telecom to sell the unit, the minister recalled that the transaction must conform to national laws, saying that Algeria is ready to buy 100 percent of the operator.

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom is in negotiations to sell some or all of its assets to South African firm MTN Group Ltd, a deal which could make MTN the world’s third-largest mobile phone operator if all Orascom’s assets were included.

But Algeria is blocking the sale of the Algerian unit, which trades under the name Djezzy, citing a law which it says gives it the right of first refusal on a 51 percent stake in the unit should it come up for sale.

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