Vimpelcom seeks loan to buy OT, Wind

Russian mobile operator Vimpelcom is trying to secure a US$4 billion loan in order to fund a merger with the Egyptian Orascom Telecom and the Italian Wind.

According to informed sources quoted by Reuters, US$2 billion of the loan will be devoted to funding the merger, while the rest of will be used to settle an outstanding debt owed by the Russian company.

In related news, a number of Orascom shareholders have sent a message to Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, urging him to intervene in a dispute with the Algerian government over the telecom company’s Algerian arm, Djezzy. They also asked Algerian officials to avoid giving statements that negatively affect the company’s investments.

Last October, Algeria said it will not begin talks on nationalising Djezzy until next year, casting fresh doubt on Vimpelcom's attempted US$6.6 billion purchase of Orascom assets, according to Reuters.

"Algeria is blocking the transfer of the lucrative Algeria-based Djezzy unit from Orascom Telecom to Vimpelcom, holding up a deal which would create the world's fifth biggest mobile phone operator," the news agency reported on 25 October.

Egyptian investments in Algeria, including those of Orascom, had been badly impacted following a clash between Algerian and Egyptian soccer fans after a FIFA World Cup qualifier match in Sudan in November 2009.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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