Orascom Doubts Vimpelcom Can Resolve Algerian Dispute

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The Chairman of Egypt's Orascom Telecom has expressed doubts about Vimpelcom's chances in settling the ongoing and lengthy dispute over Orascom's Algerian subsidiary with the Algerian government.

Orascom Telecom is currently in the process of a merger with Vimpelcom, but the terms were changed to reflect the uncertainly of the Algerian situation. Orascom's Algerian subsidiary, Djezzy, is the parent company's biggest single source of revenue, but has been mired in tax disputes for several years and the Algerian government has blocked profit transfers back to the parent company.

Now the Algerian government is trying to nationalize the company in order to block its sale by Orascom to other companies.

"I do not think Vimpelcom will succeed in negotiations in Algeria," Orascom Telecom Chairman Naguib Sawiris said at a shareholders meeting on Thursday, as cited by the Reuters news agency. The company is currently mulling whether it should seek international arbitration in its dispute.