Sawiris-VimpelCom deal likely to go through


Naguib Sawiris
CAIRO: Russian telecommunications operator Vimpelcom’s deal to buy telecom assets from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has “a very big chance” of going through, Sawiris told Reuters on Tuesday.

Asked if he was worried VimpelCom shareholder Telenor might block the deal to buy control of Cairo-based Orascom Telecom and Italy’s Wind, Sawiris said, “No, I’m not worried.”

The bid for Sawiris assets boosted shares in Orascom Telecom.

According to the new deal, Sawiris will receive around $1.5 billion in cash, compared to $1.8 billion in the first offer, in addition to 330.6 million common and convertible shares.

The Russian company’s board approved a revised deal to acquire assets including 51.7 percent of Orascom Telecom and 100 per cent of Wind.

The deal will create the sixth-largest mobile company in the world, in terms of the number of subscribers.
VimpelCom’s primary proposal to Orascom excepts Algeria and Greece from the agreement.

Sallie Pisch