Weather loses backing in battle for Wind

7 Apr 2005

The protracted sale of Italian telecoms group Wind continues to rumble on, amid reports that one of the two consortia bidding for control of the company is falling apart. The Weather consortium, headed by Orascom Telecom CEO Naguib Sawiris, has seen one of its major backers pull out. On the day that the board members of Enel, the Italian utility which owns Wind, met to examine the offers made by Weather and its rival bidder, a consortium led by US private equity firm Blackstone, Sawris’ venture lost the support of private equity giant Apax Partners and could yet lose the backing of US investor Wilbur Ross, whose exact participation in the deal remains unclear. Whilst it is thought that Sawris alone has the financial resources to remain in the running, analysts believe that Blackstone now has the upper hand in proceedings.