Vodafone Group terminated talks with STC over the sale of its 55 per cent stake in its business in Egypt, following a series of delays to complete the deal.

In a statement released at the end of last month, Vodafone Group said discussions over the sale, which was struck on a preliminary basis in January 2020, had ended and it would now keep hold of its stake.

The remaining 45 per cent of Vodafone Egypt is owned by state-owned Telecom Egypt.

Vodafone Egypt is the country’s largest operator with 41 million mobile connections at the end of 2020, GSMA Intelligence figures showed.

In its statement announcing the end of talks with STC, Vodafone CEO Nick Reid said it believed the Egyptian government was “committed to an optical framework for the sector”, which would enable its business to deliver on a vision of digitalisation, financial inclusion and create a technology hub to support its growth in Africa.

The deal to sell the 55 per cent stake to STC was expected to be completed in June 2020, after the pair signed a memorandum of understanding at the start of last year.

However, the closing date was pushed back twice due to issues relating to Covid-19 (coronavirus). The deal also faced pushback from Telecom Egypt, which argued it had not received a proposal from either party or had no insight into the terms being discussed.

In September, Vodafone indicated the sale was still on, and it remained in talks to finalise the deal.