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Vimpelcom to unveil deal to buy Orascom stake, Wind

Russian firm could announce $6.5 bln deal Monday.

October 4, 2010 10:52 by

Mobile phone operator Vimpelcom is expected to unveil a deal to buy control of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom and Italy’s Wind on Monday in what could create the world’s fifth-largest mobile operator.

Vimpelcom and Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris are poised to combine their telecoms assets in a deal potentially worth $6.5 billion, sources have told Reuters, although the deal could yet fall apart.

Vimpelcom, part owned by Russia’s Alfa Group and part by Norway’s Telenor , could pay with cash and 20 percent of its shares to Sawiris’ Weather Investment company, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Telenor’s shares fell percent on Monday on concerns that dividend payouts from Vimpelcom may be weakened by the group’s expected purchase of Sawiris’ assets .

Orascom Telecom jumped 4.6 percent on Sunday on speculation Sawiris could be near the deal.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Victoria Howley, Editing by John Bowker and Hans Peters)

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