Sawiris yearns to feel Wind beneath his wings once more

3 May 2013

Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris has indicated that he is interested in returning to the Italian telecoms sector – around two years after he sold Wind Telecomunicazioni (Wind Italy) to Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom. In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Sawiris described Italy as ‘a very good place to invest’, and suggested that former company Wind is among the options he is considering making a play for. He added: ‘When we find a good opportunity we will come back for sure. I am very optimistic on Italy’.

In November 2012 TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that the well-known industry figure had offered to invest as much as EUR5 billion (USD6.35 billion) in Telecom Italia (TI), only to see his overtures rebuffed by the TI board. With reference to the rumoured combination between TI and Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 Italia business, Sawiris told Bloomberg that, in his opinion, the merger would not be a success because the two carriers have different cultures and business models.