Orascom, Algeria locked in legal feud

ORASCOM’s on going battle with the Algerian government hit another snag after the valuation requested by the latter was delayed because of a disagreement over company data.

Global news sources indicate that Djezzy has prohibited auditors from looking at its corporate database.

A top communications ministry official, confirmed that “the company is not complying with orders to be audited and be valued, so it is really difficult to deal with this situation.”

Algiers hired Shearman and Sterling in January 2011 to conduct the valuation of the Egyptian telecom giant’s unit, but the May 2011 deadline elapsed without an accurate report.

“The valuation has not been done yet because Djezzy refused to allow Shearman access to its database,” an Algerian telecoms sector source familiar with the Djezzy case told Reuters news service.

The fight between Algeria’s government and Orascom has gone on for well over one year, after the Egyptian company refused to comply with the government’s requests to pay back taxes. Djezzy and Orascom claim they have nothing to pay, while the government has in turn decided to purchase the unit.

By Staff Writer