2 July 2002
ORANGE ACQUIRES STAKE IN MOBINIL FROM FRANCE TELECOM
Egyptian acquisition in line with IPO intention
London. 2 July 2002. Orange SA, one of the world's largest mobile communications
companies, today announced that it has agreed to acquire the 71.25 per cent
stake in the Egyptian operation MobiNil Telecommunications S.A.E. (MobiNil)
currently owned by France Telecom. This is in line with the intention expressed
at the time of the IPO of Orange in February 2001. The addition of Egypt means
Orange will have operations in 22 countries across Europe and beyond.
Orange will acquire joint control of MobiNil with Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E.
as its partner. MobiNil owns 51 per cent of Egyptian Company for Mobile Services
S.A.E. (ECMS). ECMS was formed in 1998 and awarded its GSM900 licence the same
year. ECMS markets its services under several brands including MobiNil, Moga and
Alo. With 2.10 million active subscribers at 31 March 2002, ECMS is Egypt's
number one provider of wirefree services. In the year ended 31 December 2001,
ECMS recorded consolidated revenue of E£2,320 million (€507 million at E£4.58:
€1), EBITDA of E£1,065 million (€233 million) at a margin of 45.9 per cent, and
net profit of E£341 million (€74 million). The transaction will have a
significant positive impact on the Orange Rest of the World segment.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jean-Francois Pontal, CEO of Orange SA, said: 'We
are pleased to be adding ECMS to the Orange group, thereby expanding the Orange
footprint to a country with almost 70 million inhabitants and adding a valuable
asset to Orange's portfolio.'
As part of the France Telecom group, ECMS is already an active participant in
Orange's value creation teams and Orange's international division has been
represented on the Board of Directors of ECMS since 2001. Orange believes that
MobiNil can continue to deliver strong results in a currently under-penetrated
market with exciting growth potential.
The consideration for the acquisition - which will be funded through Orange's
existing shareholder loan facility with France Telecom - is €324 million in
cash. The acquisition price values ECMS (on an enterprise value basis) at 6.3 x
2001 EBITDA. The conditions relating to the transaction have now been met and
the acquisition is expected to become effective this month.
Notes to Editors
Orange, wirefree and any other Orange product or service referred to in this
release are trademarks of Orange. Orange is Europe's number two mobile operator
by footprint. The addition of the Egyptian operation means Orange will have
operations in 22 countries across Europe and beyond. As at the end of March
2002, Orange had over 12.7 million customers in the UK, 18.3 million in France
and approximately 40.5 million controlled customers worldwide. Orange provides a
broad range of personal communications services, including Orange GSM1800
services and other digital cellular telephone services. Information about
Orange can be found on the Orange website at www.orange.com
For more information please call the Orange media centre on +44 207 984 2000 or
+44 7973 201 911
For enquiries regarding France Telecom, please call the France Telecom press
office on +33 1 4444 9393
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange