Orascom Telecom, an Egyptian mobile phone operator, has appealed against the Algerian authorities’ decision to seek $600m in retrospective taxes from its subsidiary in the country, Djezzy.

In a statement to the Egyptian Exchange on 29 December, Orascom said it had paid the Algerian tax office, the Direction des Grandes Entreprises, about $120m or 20 per cent of the authorities’ claim for back tax to launch the appeals process.

Orascom will get back the $120m if its appeal against the Direction des Grandes Entreprises’ 16 November decision is successful.

Djezzy is Orascom’s largest mobile phone business. In the third quarter of 2009, Djezzy generated $1.4bn of revenues, or 38 per cent of total group revenues of $3.8bn.

The Algerian authorities are claiming tax for the 2005, 2006 and 2007 financial years.

Orascom declined to comment.