Apax and Blackstone amongst favourites for Weather stake

3 Oct 2007

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, controller of Egypt-based telecoms holding company Weather Investments, has confirmed that he is negotiating the sale of a 10%-12% stake in the company to one of a number of interested private equity firms, which include Apax and Blackstone, reports the Wall Street Journal. Sawiris told the paper that he hopes to reach a deal by the end of the year, to raise as much as EUR1.2 billion (USD1.7 billion) to reduce debt or to pursue potential acquisitions in France (Bouygues Telecom), or Indonesia. Weather controls fixed line, broadband and mobile operations in Italy and Greece under the Wind brand, and is also the majority owner of Egypt-based international mobile group Orascom Telecom, with interests in operators across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.