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Vimpelcom not obliged to buy OT minority shares-paper

Any deal between Vimpelcom and OT would be completed outside Egypt.

September 8, 2010 1:20 by

Russia’s Vimpelcom would not be obliged to buy out minority shareholders in Orascom Telecom (OT) should it purchase a stake in the Egyptian firm, a local paper on Wednesday quoted an Egyptian official as saying.

Any deal between Vimpelcom and OT would be completed outside Egypt and hence it would be difficult to implement such regulations, the daily al-Masry al-Youm quoted an official at the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) as saying.

Officials at the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Orascom’s holding company Weather Investments, which owns just over half of Orascom, has been in talks with Vimpelcom about a potential merger.

Earlier this year, OT and France Telecom both of which owned shares in Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS), known by its brand name Mobinil, resolved a protracted disputed over ownership of ECMS.

The Egyptian market regulator had said during the row that France Telecom must bid for all ECMS shares. France Telecom had said any such offer would be voluntary.

The EFSA official quoted by the newspaper on Wednesday said any OT and Vimpelcom deal would be outside Egypt “therefore it is difficult to implement the law on it, contrary to what happened in the case of France Telecom and Orascom Telecom”.

(Writing by Shaimaa Fayed)


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