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Altimo Seeks to Push Ahead with Orascom Buyout

Russia’s Altimo is to seek permission from the Egyptian stock exchange to push ahead with its purchase of a block of shares in Orascom Telecom.

The company had attempted to buy the 49% of Orasom Telecom that is listed on the stock market, but the deal was conditional on at least 26% of the outstanding shares agreeing to be sold.

The board of directors at Orascom Telecom had rejected the offer saying that it undervalued the company. With just 16% of the shareholders agreeing to the deal, it was deemed to have failed, which means that those shareholders cant sell their shares to Altimo.

Altimo has confirmed to the Reuters news agency that it had now asked the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority to waive the minimum take-up requirement in order to proceed with its buyout of minority shareholders.

“Even though this number falls below the 26 percent minimum threshold, this is still a significant percentage representing one third of the freefloat of OTH,” Altimo said in emailed comments.

“Therefore Altimo would like to honour its commitment of buying the shares at 70 cents from all shareholders that tendered and hence has applied to EFSA to waive this minimum requirement.”

Altimo already owns just under 48% of VimpelCom which in turn already owns 52% of Orascom Telecom, and last month launched a bid to buy the outstanding shares in the company, through a Cyprus based holding company.

The deal would have given Altimo effective control over the company through its direct and indirect holdings.

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