Ronny Pecik, the Viennese businessman who is reportedly spearheading the ongoing ‘hostile takeover’ of the Telekom Austria Group, has been linked with a long-term deal to sell the stake he is building in the telecoms giant to Russian behemoth Vimpelcom. Austrian magazine Format, which first broke the news of Pecik’s interest in Telekom last month, has now reported claims that the tycoon intends to sell on his stake – which currently stands at 5.4%, but is in the process of being increased to 20% – to Vimpelcom, in what it terms ‘the biggest deal of his career’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, for the last five weeks speculation has been rife that Telekom Austria was being eyed as a potential acquisition target by an international investor group that also included Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. A purchase price of around EUR750 million (USD1.02 billion) has been mooted for a 20% stake in the company. Whilst Sawiris’ precise role in the approach has remained unclear until now, he recently pledged 4.23% of his shareholding in Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom as collateral against a USD600 million loan, further stoking industry speculation.