Vimpelcom close to acquiring Orascom
Russian-Norwegian mobile operator Vimpelcom is close to a deal with Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris to buy his stakes in Italian operator Wind and Egypt's Orascom Telecom, Vedomosti daily said Monday.
Vimpelcom's board of directors voted for the first time on Sunday on the deal to purchase 100 percent of Wind and 51 percent of Orascom, Vedomosti said, citing unnamed sources. The assets would be merged into one single company.
In exchange, Sawiris will receive 20 percent in the resulting company and a cash amount. Orascom is one of the largest mobile providers in the Middle East.
The deal is valued at some 6.4 billion dollars and the merger could form the world's fifth largest operator with about 200 million subscribers.
Sawiris officially confirmed in August that he was in talks with Vimpelcom to sell his stakes in the operators, adding that he was also considering other buyers.