Vimpelcom seeks new terms for Orascom deal
Cairo, December 21, 2010
Vimpelcom wants to renegotiate a $6.6 billion bid for control of Egyptian operator Orascom Telecom and other assets owned by Naguib Sawiris after Telenor refused to support the bid.
Norwegian group Telenor, Russian mobile group Vimpelcom's second-biggest shareholder, said the bid for a controlling stake in Orascom and Egyptian businessman Sawiris's Italian telecoms business Wind was not good enough.
While Telenor did not elaborate on Tuesday, investors have questioned the price tag due to uncertainty over the future ownership of Orascom's lucrative Algerian unit Djezzy -- which the Algerian government wants to nationalise.
'The price of the deal is likely to be reconsidered in light of the worsening situation in Algeria,' VTB Capital analyst Viktor Klimovich said. 'We would not be surprised if there were to be a long negotiation process ... potentially up until the final decision on the nationalisation price which might not be available before the second quarter of next year.'
Algeria has shown no sign of abandoning moves to nationalise Djezzy, Orascom's top revenue generator, and has sought advisers to kick-start the valuation process.
Analysts have said Telenor may also have concerns about the make-up of the new board and what rights Weather should be allowed.
Amsterdam-headquartered Vimpelcom said chief executive Alexander Izosimov could now negotiate further with Weather and Sawiris about amended terms. - Reuters
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