Sawiris pledges 4.23% of Vimpelcom as collateral against USD600m loan

6 Oct 2011

Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who earlier this year swapped his stakes in a number of telcos – including Wind Telecomunicazioni (Wind Italy) and Orascom Telecom Holding – for Vimpelcom stock, has pledged 4.23% of his shareholding in the Russian company as collateral against a USD600 million loan, Vedomosti reports. According to documents viewed by the newspaper, Sawiris obtained the loan from a number of lending institutions, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group and Goldman Sachs.

At this juncture it is unclear how Sawiris intends to use the funds, but TeleGeography notes that he has been repeatedly linked with a ‘hostile takeover’ of the Telekom Austria Group over the course of the last month. Initial reports suggested that Sawiris, alongside Vienna-based businessman Ronny Pecik, was keen to secure a 20% stake in Telekom Austria for a purchase price of around EUR750 million (USD1.02 billion).

Russia, Beeline (Russia), Global Telecom Holding (GTH, formerly OTH), VEON