Sawiris Anticipates New VimpelCom Offer, Al Arabiya Reports

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Weather Investments SpA, the company that controls most of Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris’s mobile-phone assets, expects a revised merger offer from VimpelCom Ltd. “within days,” Sawiris told Al Arabiya.

The new offer won’t change the financial terms of the original deal, Sawiris said in the television interview today.

The merger would create the world’s fifth-largest mobile-phone company. Sawiris faces resistance to the proposed $6.5 billion transaction from Telenor ASA, the biggest shareholder in Russia’s VimpelCom.

Sawiris is also trying to resolve an ownership dispute with Algeria over Orascom Telecom Holding SAE’s Algerian unit, know as Djezzy. Sawiris owns a 51.7 percent stake in Orascom, which would be part of the merger with VimpelCom.

In response to reports that the Algerian government values Djezzy at $3 billion, Sawiris added in the interview he would not accept an “unrealistic” price for the unit.

Editor: James Kraus, Claudia Maedler

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