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Vimpelcom to sell-off Djezzy in Algeria

January 10, 2012 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Telecom group Vimpelcom has agreed to sell its majority stake in the Algerian state operated Djezzy unit, which had been owned by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom. After Vimpelcom purchased Orascom last year, the nationalization of the Djezzy unit sparked controversy.

Naguib Sawiris, former executive chairman of Orascom Telecom Holding (image: ECBN)

The announcement from the Russian-led Vimpelcom should end the ownership dispute between the Egyptian operator and the Algerian government, which had led to worries that the Vimpelcom takeover of Orascom could fall flat.

Vimpelcom said in a statement on Monday that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Algerian government to explore the possible sale of Djezzy, subject to an acceptable price.

It added that the two sides were also looking at acquisition opportunities that would benefit both parties.

Vimpelcom agreed to buy 51.7 percent of Orascom from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris in 2011, a deal which expanded its horizons out of its Russian heartland and into Italy and North Africa as well as other emerging markets.

Jonathan Terry

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