Egypt court blocks Orascom split ruling


An Egyptian court has ruled that shareholders from Orascom Telecom will be forced to wait until December 17 2011 to have a verdict delivered on their attempts to prevent a split within the company.

Naguib Sawiris, Orascom Telecom CEO (image source: file photo)

The company was scheduled to be broken up after it was bought by Russia’s Vimpelcom earlier this year, but a number of shareholders who are unhappy with the move have taken the case to court in an effort to prevent the breakup.

The company, which is Egypt’s largest telecommunications operator was to be broken up during the third quarter of this year, Orascom announced in June 2011.

The move to break the company into smaller divisions came on the back of a board-approved move to double its capital to 14 billion Egyptian pounds (about US $2.4 billion) and create a separate Orascom Telecom Media and Technology company.

In March 2011, shareholders of Russia’s Vimpelcom approved the $6 billion deal to acquire the telecom assets of Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. The deal with Sawiris’s Wind Telecom SpA secures a more than 50% stake in Orascom Telecom and Italy’s Wind Telecommunicazioni SpA.

Desmond Shephard