Bloomberg News

VimpelCom Wants to Be Long-Term Player in Algeria, CEO Says

February 28, 2012

VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) said it plans to be a “long-term’ player in Algeria even if Russia’s second-biggest mobile-phone operator might need to sell a stake in a local joint venture to the government.

‘‘The Algeria investment is on the hold for the time being,” VimpelCom Chief Executive Officer Jo Lunder said in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “But we like Algeria a lot and we would like to be a long term player in Algeria. We like the attractiveness of the market.”

Orascom Telecom Holding SAE (ORTE), in which Vimpelcom Ltd. owns a majority stake, said last month it expects to receive a “fair offer” for the sale of its Algerian unit Djezzy to the country’s government. The Algerian authorities are seeking to nationalize Djezzy.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at

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