The Algerian government has agreed in principle to buy Orascom Telecom’s local subsidiary, Djezzy. Algeria’s minister of Post, Information and Communication Technologies, Moussa Benhamadi told state radio that the decision to buy the company has been made and the government expects to complete the acquisition of Djezzy’s assets before the end of the current year, the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper reported.
The report confirms a statement by Algeria’s finance minister that the financial evaluation of Djezzy by a local expert is nearing completion, the paper added.
The government plans to keep the mobile phone and internet services provider in its current state with regard to its network, workforce and clients because it’s a successful company, the daily cites Benhamadi as saying.
Orascom Telecom has previously indicated that it puts a valuation of $7.8 billion on the company, although analysts doubt the government would offer more than US$5 billion.
The future of the Algerian network has been under discussion for several months, with the Algerian government unwilling to let Orascom sell the company, while also suggesting that it wants to buy the firm itself.