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Saudi Telecom says no deal reached on Vodafone Egypt stake

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's largest telecoms operator Saudi Telecom Co (STC) 7010.SE on Sunday said no agreement has been reached to buy a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt VODE.CA, and that the parties have agreed to keep dialogue open.

In January, STC signed a non-binding agreement to buy the stake for $2.4 billion, extending the offer in April and again in July.

Originally expected to close in June, the deal would have been STC’s biggest in over a decade and valued Vodafone Egypt at$4.4 billion.

STC ended the second extension “without reaching an agreement to conclude the transaction due to misalignment with relevant parties,” it said in a stock exchange filing.

The non-binding agreement was reached before the coronavirus crisis struck and STC cited logistical challenges caused by the pandemic when it announced a 90-day extension in April.

With 44 million subscribers and a 40% market share, Vodafone Egypt is the country’s biggest mobile operator. STC is majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Susan Fenton

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