Companies & Industries

The Evolving Empire of Naguib Sawiris


VimpelCom merger: Sawiris's family holding company agreed last October to a $6.5 billion deal to merge Orascom's telecom businesses with Russia's VimpelCom (VIP). Sawiris's interests will get a 20 percent stake in VimpelCom and $1.5 billion in cash.

Tax troubles in Algeria: Algeria has levied additional tax on Orascom's local subsidiary for 2008 and 2009. That raised its bill by $230 million. Orascom has challenged the hike. It had earlier been hit with a big tax reassessment claim for 2005-2007.

Tunisia mobile unit sale: In January, Orascom sold its 50 percent stake in a Tunisia cellular business for $1.2 billion in cash to Qatar Telecom. The deal allows Orascom to pay down debt and redeploy capital into faster-growing businesses.

France Telecom deal in Egypt: Orascom in April 2010 settled a dispute with partner France Telecom (FTE) over their joint ownership of a controlling stake in Mobinil, Egypt's largest mobile service operator, with 40 percent of the market. France Telecom paid Orascom $300 million.


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