Akin Gump Advises VimpelCom on Combination With Weather Investments to Create New Global Telecom Group

(London, United Kingdom) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is advising emerging market mobile telecoms operator VimpelCom Ltd. on its combination with Weather Investments S.p.A., a landmark transaction that will create the world’s fifth largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers.

The deal was signed on October 4, 2010, and is expected to close subject to certain conditions being met in Q1 2011.

On completion, the enlarged VimpelCom will have operations in 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, with approximately 850 million people living within the coverage area and pro forma net operating revenues of US$21.5 billion. The shareholders of Weather Investments will receive 20 percent of the share capital of the post-acquisition VimpelCom, US$1.8 billion in cash and certain assets that will be demerged from the combined group after completion.

VimpelCom’s existing license portfolio covers the whole of Russia and Ukraine as well as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Weather Investments is the holding company for both Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E., an Egyptian mobile telecommunications company listed on the Egypt and London Stock Exchanges and operating in 10 key markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., a leading Italian telecommunications operator.

The London-based Akin Gump team advising VimpelCom is led by partner Dan Walsh, who commented: “This is a transformational deal for VimpelCom, bringing it to new markets around the world. We are delighted to advise our long-standing client on one of the most significant telecoms deals of the year.”

In addition to Mr. Walsh, the Akin Gump team includes partners Fred Heller, Pat Dooley and Sebastian Rice and counsel Harry Keegan, Lisa Hearn and Alexander Lemke. UBS and Deutsche Bank are also advising VimpelCom.

Cleary Gottlieb is advising Weather Investments along with Lazard Frères and EFG Hermes.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld London is the center for the firm’s international practice in a variety of top-tier disciplines, including cross-border M&A and debt and equity capital markets, private equity, investment fund formation, international arbitration and litigation, energy, Russia/CIS and emerging markets. The office is fully integrated with the firm’s U.S. and other international offices, and its practitioners are supported by a network of professional relationships and resources throughout the world.

# # #