Orascom Telecom Tells Holders to Reject Fridman’s Buyout Offer

Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the Cairo-based mobile phone company in which Russia’s VimpelCom Ltd. bought a majority stake in 2011, said investors should reject a buyout offer from billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

Orascom shares were valued at 86 cents a share by its adviser on the deal, HC Securities & Investments, compared with the offer of 70 cents a share by Fridman’s Baskindale Ltd., the Egyptian company said in a Regulatory News Service statement. Baskindale is wholly owned by Altimo Holdings & Investments Ltd., a unit of Fridman’s Alfa Group. Altimo is VimpelCom’s biggest shareholder.

Baskindale’s offer for Orascom, which expires this month, comes as VimpelCom negotiates with the Algerian government to end an ownership dispute over Djezzy, the local mobile phone company that is Orascom’s biggest revenue generator. The offer is equivalent to $4.31 for each of Orascom’s global depository receipts that trade in London.

Orascom shares closed 0.4 percent lower today at 4.66 Egyptian pounds (67 cents) before the company’s recommendation. The stock has gained 6.6 percent since the announcement of Baskindale’s offer, outpacing a 5.9 percent increase for the benchmark EGX 30 Index.

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