Telecom Egypt drafts in Capital MS&L for flotation

CAIRO: Telecom Egypt has hired Publicis-backed financial comms shop Capital MS&L for what is being billed as one of the Middle East’s largest privatisations.

It emerged this week that the company had engaged Capital director Neil Doyle to lead communications around the European aspects of the deal, which will involve the first stage in the sale of Telecom Egypt.

The Egyptian government is hoping to raise £467m, half through the flotation of the company on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. The rest of the cash will be raised through a private placement of shares to institutional investors, with a smaller part being sold as an employee offer.

The deal would give Telecom Egypt a value of £2.5bn.

Part of the institutional cash is also to be raised through an offering of general depository receipts in London, and through a '144 offering', which allows firms to sell unregistered stock without filing a formal registration statement.

Capital is working alongside Telecom Egypt's retained local agency Editor, but has been given a retained IR and financial comms brief understood to be worth around £100,000.

Credit Suisse First Boston, which is advising Telecom Egypt on the deal, hosted the tender process, which is believed to have involved two other agencies.

The Egyptian government agreed last month to the sale of 20 per cent of the company and the market is hoping for a similar reception to that which greeted the recent flotation of Investcom. The telecoms firm, which operates in ten Middle-Eastern and African markets, raised £455m in the October float, on which Capital also worked.

Investcom was simultaneously listed in London and Dubai. It was the Dubai International Financial Exchange's first listing.

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