Veon applies to buy rest of former Orascom Telecom for $894m

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Former VimpelCom goes to Cairo stock exchange to increase its stake in GTH to 94%

Veon, the former VimpelCom, has applied to Egyptian authorities to buy another 42.31% of the former Orascom Telecom for the equivalent of $894 million.

Veon owns 51.9% of the company, now Global Telecom Holding (GTH), and if the deal is approved it will own more than 94%.

The Amsterdam-based company, which owns Beeline in Russia and half of Wind Tre in Italy, said it has deposited a mandatory tender offer with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) and added: “The mandatory tender offer is currently being reviewed by EFSA.”

The former VimpelCom bought its existing stake in GTH in 2011, despite the opposition of Telenor, then a major VimpelCom shareholder. The stake was owned by Naguib Sawiris, who has since become involved in a number of other telecoms projects, including an ill-fated attempt to buy Brazil’s Oi.

GTH, which is listed on the Cairo Stock Exchange, includes operations in Algeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which since 2011 have been managed by the Veon group. A number of other businesses, including in Burundi, Canada, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe, have been sold over the years.

Veon said about the tender offer: “As the EFSA approval process is still pending, Veon is unable to comment further on this matter.”