Vimpelcom considering share-swap deal for stakes in Orascom, Wind

12 Aug 2010

Reuters, quoting Russian newspaper Kommersant, reports that Russian cellco Vimpelcom is considering a potential deal to purchase 51% of Egyptian cellular group Orascom Telecom as well as take control of Italian full-service telco Wind Telecomunicazioni by buying out the two companies’ mutual holding company Weather Investments, itself controlled by Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris. The Kommersant report, which did not name its sources, said Vimpelcom could pay for the deal with cash and shares, with Sawiris and his partners getting approximately 20%-23% of voting rights in Vimpelcom, which currently has a market value of USD22.6 billion. The potential deal, worth an estimated USD6.5 billion without debt, would reduce the stakes of Russia’s Alfa Group and Norway’s Telenor in Vimpelcom to around 35% and 27% respectively, from 44.65% and 36.03% at present, following the Russian firm’s merger earlier in the year with Ukraine’s Kyivstar. Elsewhere, Wind’s Greek sister telco Wind Hellas is currently receiving offers from potential new investors as it aims to restructure its capital.

Egypt, Italy, Beeline (Russia), Global Telecom Holding (GTH, formerly OTH), VEON, WINDTRE (incl. Wind and 3 Italia)