Algeria Rejects VimpelCom’s Djezzy Price, El Watan Reports

The government of Algeria rejected VimpelCom Ltd.’s proposed $7.8 billion price for Orascom Telecom Holding SAE’s Djezzy unit, and won’t negotiate with the Russian company, El Watan reported, citing a government source.

The government values the unit at $2 billion to $3 billion, and will deal only with Orascom, the Algiers-based newspaper reported today.

Plans by VimpelCom, owner of Russia’s second-largest mobile operator, to combine assets with Orascom have involved it in a dispute with Algeria over taxes and ownership of Orascom’s Algerian operations.

Talks between Orascom and MTN Group Ltd. over a possible merger failed in June after the Algerian government blocked the sale of Djezzy, and said it would make an offer for the operator instead. Under an agreement to combine assets announced Oct. 4, VimpelCom plans to take a 51.7 percent stake in Orascom.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Campbell in Paris at mcampbell39@bloomberg.net; To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net.

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