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Oger Telecom says plans South Africa investment

Date: 1/23/2008 11:45:01 AM

Oger Telecom will invest part of its $2.6 billion proceeds from the sale of a stake to Saudi Telecom 7010.SE in South African fixedline operator Telkom (TKGJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research), Oger Chief Executive Paul Doany told reporters.

Saudi Telecom Co, the largest Arab telecom firm by market value, said on Sunday it had agreed to buy 35 percent of Oger in a move giving it access to markets from Turkey to South Africa.

"As to Telkom South Africa, Oger Telecom submitted an offer which we believe to be in the interest of both Telkom and our Cell C. We hope to see progress with this soon," said Doany, also chairman of fixedline company Turk Telekom, an Oger unit.

Doany, speaking at a meeting with reporters on Monday evening, did not specify the size of the offer.

Oger already has a majority stake in unlisted Cell C, South Africas thirdbiggest mobile operator.

Oger Telecom, controlled by the family of late Lebanese prime minister Rafik alHariri, also operates in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan, providing fixedline, mobile and internet services.

Saudi Oger has been looking to sell shares in its telecom business for more than a year. Oger Telecom announced a $1.25 billion initial public offering in 2006 but cancelled it on concerns about tumbling Gulf Arab markets.

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