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Mobinil (Egypt): France Telecom requests Orascom Telecom to cease its media attack and comply with the ICC’s award


France Telecom once again requests Orascom Telecom to comply with the arbitration award that the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has issued against Orascom Telecom following the legal action it launched in 2007. France Télécom would also like Orascom Telecom to cease its media campaign in order to re-establish a calm environment that is more appropriate for conducting constructive discussions with the Egyptian authorities.

Execution timeframe
Given the lack of any clear evidence regarding the removal of the pledge on the Mobinil shares held by Orascom Telecom, the International Chamber of Commerce’s award could not have been executed by April 10, 2009. As of today’s date, Mobinil’s share register shows that these shares are still pledged to Orascom Telecom’s creditor banks. While the arbitration court has not issued a deadline for the execution of this award, it has fixed a penalty of $50,000 per day to be levied against Orascom Telecom from April 10 until the full execution of the award. On several occasions, France Telecom has sent certificates from its bank confirming the availability of the funds required to transfer the Mobinil holding company’s shares. France Telecom has also offered to establish three-way discussions with Orascom Telecom and its creditor banks with a view to ensuring the rapid removal of the pledge enabling the award’s execution.

Next steps
Once Orascom Telecom has complied with the arbitration award, France Télécom is looking to re-establish discussions with the Egyptian authorities in order to make a fair offer to minority and individual shareholders of ECMS.

Lastly, France Telecom, which has held a controlling majority interest in Mobinil since it was founded, would like to restate that it has never sought to withdraw from the partnership. Once the arbitration award has been executed and discussions with the Egyptian authorities re-established, France Telecom will seek the optimum Egyptian partner to pursue the sharp growth of ECMS, the mobile operator.


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