Sawiris ‘committed’ to Wind, despite Vimpelcom interest

13 Sep 2010

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris has said he is committed to the Italian telecoms market, despite Russian group Vimpelcom entering talks to buy assets from him. Vimpelcom is in talks to buy controlling stakes in Italian full-service telco Wind and Egyptian group Orascom Telecom from Sawiris. ‘We are and we will be investors over the long term in the Italian market focusing on our strategic paradigm to grow Wind from ‘good’ to ‘great’,’ Sawiris said in a statement from his Weather Investments holding company. ‘We are also aiming to position Wind as the market consolidator in both fixed line and mobile, in addition to our serious intention to invest in the fourth generation telecom network.’

As reported in CommsUpdate on 3 September, Vimpelcom CEO Alenander Izosimov comfirmed that Vimpelcom is in talks with Sawiris to buy a majority stake in both Orascom and Wind. Sawiris himself had revealed that negotiations were taking place at the end of August.