Sawiris confirms talks with Vimpelcom and, well, anyone really

1 Sep 2010

Orascom Telecom’s Executive Chairman Naguib Sawiris has confirmed previous press reports that his holding company Weather Investments is in talks with Russia’s Vimpelcom over possible merger plans involving assets including Weather’s controlling stakes in the Egypt-based Orascom group and Italy’s Wind. Whilst talking to press on a visit to Orascom’s Canadian subsidiary Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile), the Egyptian entrepreneur also confirmed that he was open to discussions with any potential strategic international partner for Weather/Orascom, Canadian paper the Global & Mail reported. Sawiris said: ‘We are not only talking to [Vimpelcom], we are talking to anybody … We have two things on our agenda right now – solving the Algerian issue [where the local government wants to block attempts to sell Orascom’s mobile unit Djezzy] and, second, finding a good partner for the group.’ He also declared it was possible that Wind Mobile could eventually acquire other Canadian cellular start-ups such as Mobilicity and Public Mobile.