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Sat 21 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Vodafone Egypt in Raya Telecom buy

Wireless phone service provider Vodafone Egypt has acquired a majority (51%) stake in Raya Telecom, a leading data operator in Egypt, for US$18.2 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Raya Holding, the parent company of Raya Telecom, can sell its remaining shares in Raya Telecom to Vodafone Egypt within the next two years at the same value per share.

Vodafone Egypt has also agreed an immediate capital injection to Raya Telecom of US$8.7 million as part of a deal worth US$36.8 million.

The companies said the money will be used to strengthen the services provided by Raya Telecom by exploring opportunities and synergies between the two companies.

“We welcome the opportunity of working with Vodafone Egypt to help provide complete telecom and system solutions to our customers,” Medhat Khalil, chairman and CEO of Raya Holding, said in a statement.

“The joint-forces will be a gate for both companies to have a key role in the plan set by the Egyptian government for telecommunications.

The liberalisation of the telecom industry in Egypt will help us take advantage of the upcoming business opportunities and the expected dramatic growth in the data environment and increased penetration rates.”

Ian Gray, CEO of Vodafone commented: “It is increasingly clear that the telecom market in Egypt is developing and it is important to develop new partnerships and relationships to bring together all the necessary skills and capabilties to provide customers with simple access to more complex services.

“With Raya Telecom we shall have a combination of new skills, experience and capability and this also provides a link to Raya Holding with its capabilities in systems integration, call centre services and mobile phone retail and service.”

Raya Telecom will continue to operate under the same name.

Raya Telecom has been a leading data operator in Egypt since 2001, providing communication services to the country’s corporate and consumer markets.

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