France Telecom has signed a non-binding offer with Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) for a majority stake in local mobile operator Mobinil.

The French telecoms operator has offered a price of £E202.5 a share ($33.54), valuing the deal at almost $2bn. In a statement issued to the press, France Telecom says it plans to make a tender offer to Mobinil’s minority shareholders at the same price.

If the shareholders agree, France Telecom will own 95 per cent of Mobinil, while OTMT would still retain a 5 per cent economic interest in the mobile operator.

As it stands France Telecom owns 36.4 per cent, while OTMT has 34.6 per cent stake in Mobinil.

Mobinil’s shares rose 10 per cent as the news was announced. The Egyptian Exchange’s main index, the EGX30 surged by more than 4 per cent as a result, closing at 5,110.44 points. The operator is Egypt’s biggest phone company by revenue, with a market value of about $2.3bn.

OTMT will hold a shareholder meeting on 1 March to seek approval for the sale.

The transaction will be subject to the approval of the Egypt’s stock market regulator.

According to official figures, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in Egypt grew by 22 per cent to 81.7 million users in the first 11 months of 2011. Egypt’s three mobile operators, Mobinil, Etisalat Egypt and Vodafone Egypt had a combined 66.87 million subscriptions at the end of November 2010.