Vodafone Group, yesterday, said it has struck a preliminary deal to sell its 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt valued at USD 2.39 billion to Saudi Telecom Company (STC). The company stated this after signing a non-binding deal with STC which values its Egyptian subsidiary at USD 4.35 billion.
Although both companies are yet to reach a binding agreement on the final price, there are plans to reach a Partner Market Agreement that allows the Egyptian operator to continue using the Vodafone brand, preferential roaming arrangements, Vodafone’s central procurement and a range of other services.
Vodafone will continue to have a significant presence in Egypt through its Shared Services centres there, recently rebranded as VOIS (Vodafone Intelligent Solutions). The centres in Cairo, Giza and Alexandria employ around 7,800 people and provide a range of services to Vodafone’s operations around the world. Vodafone has plans to recruit at least 1,000 more people over the coming 12-18 months.
The sale is expected to close by the end of June, subject to regulatory approval.
Selling Vodafone Egypt is in line with Group’s resolve to streamline its operations to focus on Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, Vodafone Chief Executive Nick Read said, noting that the sale will reduce the Group’s net debt and unlock value for its shareholders.
Vodafone is also looking to optimize its satellite broadband offering in Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. The Group offers managed VSAT installations and satellite connectivity services in markets where it operates.