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Orascom Telecom in talks with VimpelCom

VimpelCom interested in buying majority stake in Orascom Telecom - report

Orascom Telecom in talks with VimpelCom
Russian telco VimpelCom is reported to be interested in buying a majority stake in Orascom Telecom.

Orascom Telecom is in talks to merge the bulk of its business with Russian mobile operator VimpelCom, in a deal that could create a company worth more than $25 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Naguib Sawiris, chairman, Orascom Telecom, would become a significant minority investor in the new company, which would include his Weather Investments SpA's 51% stake in Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holding SAE and Italy's Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, the report added, citing two people close to the deal.

The sources told Boomberg that the structure of a deal had not been decided and it was uncertain whether an agreement would be reached.

Earlier in the month, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that VimpelCom Ltd was considering staging an acquisition of Orascom's Italian mobile firm, Wind, and a 51% stake in Orascom, in a deal worth about $6.5 billion.

Orascom Telecom has been actively involved in talks aimed at consolidation in the past few months. In June, the company called off talks with South Africa's MTN Group, ending speculation about a possible deal that could have made MTN one of the world's biggest mobile operators.

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