Orascom receives $1.2bn for Iraq business

24 June 2008
Orascom Telecom, the Egyptian telecoms company, has received $1.2bn from the Kuwaiti firm Zain for its Iraqi business Iraqna.

Zain paid Orascom for the business on 24 June although it took control of Iraqna in December last year.

Under the terms of the takeover, Zain was allowed to move the 3 million Iraqna customers onto its Zain-branded mobile phone service before it paid any of the $1.2bn lump sum to Orascom Telecom (MEED 3:12:07).

The Egyptian company was forced to sell Iraqna after it lost an auction to win one of three new mobile phone licences in Iraq in August last year.

The other two licence holders in Iraq are Asiacell, which is backed by Qatari operator Qtel, and Kurdish company Korek Telecom.

Orascom cancelled talks to sell Iraqna to Korek late last year. The Egyptian operator was in the middle of a legal battle with Asiacell's parent company Qtel at the same time.

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