EFG Hermes closes VimpelCom-Wind Telecom deal

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CAIRO: Regional investment bank EFG Hermes has closed the VimpelCom-Wind Telecom deal, worth more than $7 billion, the firm said in a statement.

This is the “largest M&A transaction to date, advising Wind Telecom S.p.A. and its shareholders…in their combination with VimpelCom Ltd.,” the statement read.

“This landmark transaction is one of the largest in the global M&A market in 2011 and is a historic milestone in the regional deal making landscape,” EFG Hermes said.

The deal creates the world’s sixth largest mobile telecommunications provider by number of subscribers with operations in 20 countries and total mobile subscriber base of 181 million.

Reuters reported that Vimpelcom’s key Russian shareholder Altimo expects the telecoms group’s new co-owner Naguib Sawiris to get as many seats on board as Altimo itself and Norway’s Telenor, Altimo’s CEO said on Wednesday.

Egyptian tycoon Sawiris became a 30.6 percent Vimpelcom shareholder last week after Russia’s No.3 mobile phone operator closed a more than $6 billion deal for Wind Telecom, including Orascom Telecom and Italy’s Wind.

Altimo then surprised the market by saying it would trigger the termination of its 2009 shareholders agreement with Telenor to allow Sawiris roughly equal rights in Vimpelcom, something Telenor had fought to avoid in a futile attempt to block the deal earlier this year. –Additional reporting by Reuters


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