Saudi Telecom delays $2.4 billion deal for stake in Vodafone’s Egypt unit

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has announced it will extend the timeframe for acquiring a majority stake in Vodafone’s Egypt unit by 90 days as it needs more time to complete the deal.

The Saudi Arabian telecoms operator confirmed a deal to buy Vodafone’s 55% stake in its Egyptian unit for US$2.4 billion earlier this year, however the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has put the brakes on the acquisition.

“STC announces that due to the logistical challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties need more time to complete the processes related to the transaction, including due diligence and they have therefore agreed to extend the MoU for 90 days starting from today,” said the company in a statement.

“Both parties will be working to progress the transaction as set out in the MoU during this period,” the statement added.

Vodafone Egypt is the North African country’s largest mobile operator in terms of active subscribers. State-run Telecom Egypt holds the remaining 45% stake of the operator.

The agreement with STC – the biggest telecoms operator in the kingdom by market value – values Vodafone Egypt at $4.4 billion.