Vodafone Egypt is not standing still with its investment plans even as shareholder Telecom Egypt pushes ahead with a proposed sale of its 45 per cent stake in the operator.
The country’s largest mobile operator has scheduled a three-year investment programme of EGP9.5 billion ($1.25 billion).
Investments will cover purchasing new equipment, modernising base stations and extending coverage, Vodafone Egypt CEO Ahmed Essam told Reuters.
“This is a huge investment in comparison to what we used to spend,” said Essam, adding the focus will be on data services.
Vodafone is a 55 per cent shareholder in the number one mobile player, which is threatened with new competition from Telecom Egypt.
The fixed incumbent has opted to sell its stake in Vodafone Egypt and go it alone, using one of the country’s Unified Licences, currently being finalised. Existing players in the mobile market are Mobinil and Etisalat, along with Vodafone.
The aim is to sell the Vodafone stake by the end of 2015. To this end, Telecom Egypt is mulling which of two sets of bankers will handle the sale, said Bloomberg.
The fixed operator has been chewing over the selection since last year.
In one corner is Lazard and EFG-Hermes Holding while JPMorgan Chase & Co sits in opposition. According to sources, the operator may soon take a decision on which side it will go for.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Egypt is not standing still. Annual investments will represent “more than 30 per cent of annual revenues,” said Essam.
“By end of this fiscal year in March, we would have spent more than EGP3 billion, which equals one third of the allocated investments and also more than 30 per cent of our yearly revenues in Egypt,” he said.