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Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) has executed an agreement with Network i2i, a unit of India-based Bharti Airtel, for the sale of its entire stake in its subsidiary Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA). OTMT holds a 100 percent stake in MENA.

OTMT aims to conclude this transaction by the end of the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, after the fulfilment of all conditions precedents and after obtaining all necessary regulatory, governmental approvals and fulfilment of the IFA report.

The decision to divest MENA comes in line with OTMT’s strategy in divesting its non-core assets. OTMT intends to utilize the proceeds of the sale in the recently expanded lines of operations being mainly the financial, the real estate and the logistics sectors among others, aiming to strengthen OTMT’s profitability position and support its strategy to develop higher-growth / higher-yield businesses.

""The additional capacity will enable Airtel to serve the growing demand for data services and enterprise services across its footprint of 18 countries across South Asia and Africa,"" Ajay Chitkara, director and chief executive officer (Global Voice and Data Business) of Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

MENA-SCS, a 100 percent subsidiary of Orascom, operates a submarine cable network between India and Europe covering Middle East, with options to extend the network to Africa. The submarine optic network capable of carrying Multi Tera bits per second of data speeds.

MENA cable is live and operational connecting Mumbai – Oman – Saudi Arabia – Egypt and Italy. It has the branching options to connect to other countries in Europe, Africa and Middle East via branching options to Cyprus, Greece, Djibouti, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan.

""The proposed acquisition underlines our commitment to provide world-class service experience to the customers. MENA-SCS will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world,"" said Ajay Chitkara, director and CEO – Global Voice & Data Business, Bharti Airtel.

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