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Algeria to Pay VimpelCom $6.5 Billion for Djezzy, Reuters Says

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Algeria agreed to pay $6.5 billion to buy the controlling stake in Djezzy, VimpelCom Ltd.’s Algerian mobile phone unit, Reuters reported today, citing an unidentified finance ministry official in the North African Nation.

Algeria would get 51 percent of the unit, Reuters reported.

An advisor to the Algerian Finance Minister said he had no information about the deal, when contacted by Bloomberg for comment. Orascom Telecom’s press office said it didn’t have any information and a call and text message to Naguib Sawiris, Orascom’s founder, were not immediately answered. VimpelCom’s director of communications, Bobby Leach, declined to comment in an e-mail.

Algeria and Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, in which VimpelCom holds a majority stake, have been disputing Djezzy’s ownership for over a year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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