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 France Telecom/Agility mysterious joint venture in Korek

  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


France Telecom/Agility mysterious joint venture in Korek ‎ 5.4.2012 
By Mrs. Benaw Izzat

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April 5, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — As you know the Kurdish investment law is very friendly, its article 3 mentions that Foreign Investors and Foreign Capitals shall be treated the same way as national Investors and national Capitals. Article 5 mentions that the investment will be tax free for the next ten years and finally art 7 stipulates that A foreign Investor shall be entitled to transfer the profits and interests of his capital abroad.

Despite this friendly law none of the players in Korek chose a direct investment in the company. Let us see how it works in details.

In Dubai you will find a company called “Iraq telecom Limited” incorporated on February 8th 2011 just before the deal announcement. This is our famous joint venture which name does not deserve to be mentioned in France Telecom accounting report. Deepak Jayantilal Jain; Ihab Fekry Aziz Bassilios, Olivier Froissard and Marc François Rennard are the Directors of this company. They are also Director in Korek excepted Olivier Froissard. You can see check in parallel on the two web sites:  and

Now you can also notice that Iraq telecom shareholders are Alcazar Capital which is known as the private equity investment arm of Agility which makes sense. But then France Telecom chose to build up another stage the co –shareholder of Iraq telecom besides Alcazar being “ Atlas Services Netherlands BV”.

On page 541 of FT accounts you can read that Atlas Services Netherlands BV bought 99,99% of the shares a Swedish company “Orange Sverige” for 1,486 MEUR which belonging to France Telecom. Just note that at the end of the page 478, you can see that Atlas Services Netherlands belongs as well at 100% to France Telecom and it is classified in the “Spanish sector”. It all makes sense!

So would you consider that Korek went into the Spanish sector? Of course not, idiot! Korek is on page 483 “Rest of the world” for 20,24%.

If you are lost just go on page 428 then you will find Korek , telecom operator in Iraq (at least we are good with geography!) under significant influence of “Agility 24% and CS SPV 56%”.

Who is this main partner CS SPV is not mentioned, it should be the new acronym for Kurdish citizens according to the accusation made by Michael Rubin*, but actually it is looking more like Sirwan Mustafa front company, not even the KDP. Why do we need a three stages investment structure to invest in the smallest telecom operator in the KRG? Did they fear to end up totally frustrated from their basic shareholder rights like Andreas Koutroukides( Ariafon founder)?

Why Iraq telecom is mentioned nowhere in France telecom document? Because life is boring without a part of mystery or because mystery is the perfect blanket that covers transparency.

*Michael Rubin repeatedly denounced the misuse of Kurdish public funds, France Telecom could not ignore the facts and the judiciary consequences for them:

March 5th 2010

For Korek to win its license, it spent something less than one billion dollar, actually 600 Million that money came out of KRG’s budget for the private use of Massoud Barzani’s nephew, not Nechirvan Barzani but a different one. And this is absolutely wrong. Nowadays Korek is still a poor company because it is a family company, it is not a professional company

May 21st 2010

This was highlighted when the head of the Korek phone company, a Barzani relative, was able to expropriate $600 million from the public coffer to support his private bid.

July 3rd 2011

The Korek cell phone company is the prime example. Its leaders apparently used several hundred million dollars in KRG money to purchase the national license. In effect, they used the Kurdish citizens’ own funds for personal gain.

March 28th 2011

After the famous deal with France Telecom was revealed, Sirwan Mustafa had to provide explanation to the Kurdish Parliament; nothing was ever mentioned by France Telecom.

« Korek Telecom’s managing director – a nephew of Kurdistan President and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani – denies allegations that his company belongs to the KDP and has revealed that he is one of the company’s four shareholders.”

By Mrs. Benaw Izzat -

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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