Questions over Nilesat ownership changes

Egypt’s powerful National Media Authority is objecting to a move by the government-owned National Investment Bank (NIB) to take a 40.5 per cent stake in Cairo-based satellite operator Nilesat.

The stake is currently ‘owned’ by the country’s public broadcaster, the Egyptian Radio & Television Union (ERTU). In the past, there have been complaints that ERTU allegedly fails to pay for its transponder rentals on Nilesat.

Additionally, the NIB is reported to be “indebted” to the ERTU (according to a report in Arabic in news-site Al Masry Al Youm) and to the tune of Eg£28 billion (about $1.5 billion) and quoting ERTU head Hussein Zein.

Egypt’s Financial Supervisory Authority has already exempted NIB from making a normally mandatory offer to the other shareholders in Nilesat as part of its acquisition of the ERTU stake.

Other shareholders include Egyptian Investment Projects at 8.8 per cent, National Bank of Egypt at 7.5 per cent and Banque Misr at 7.5 per cent.

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