Vodafone ends talks to sell Egypt stake to Saudi STC

Vodafone ends talks to sell Egypt stake to Saudi STC

Vodafone ended the deal due to a series of missed deadlines by STC

Vodafone had said in September that it remained in talks to finalise the deal in the near future despite the expiry of an initial MoU. Credit: AFP

Vodafone said on Monday it had ended talks with the Saudi Telecom Company on the $2.4 billion sale of its 55 per cent shareholding in Vodafone Egypt after a series of missed deadlines to complete the deal.

STC, the kingdom's biggest telecom operator, had struck a preliminary deal in January with the London-listed telecoms company to buy the stake as it sought growth in the Arab world's most populous nation.

Vodafone had said in September that it remained in talks to finalise the deal in the near future despite the expiry of an initial memorandum of understanding.

STC cited coronavirus-driven logistical challenges to seek extension twice to the initial agreement, first in April and then in July.

With 44 million subscribers and a 40 per cent market share, Vodafone Egypt is the country's biggest mobile operator.

"We believe that the Egyptian government is committed to an optimal framework for the telecoms sector, which will enable Vodafone Egypt to deliver on the country's vision of digitisation and financial inclusion and create a technology hub to support our growth in the African region," Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said in a statement.

Vodafone had said in January that selling the stake was in line with efforts to streamline its operations to focus on Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.