Akin Gump Advises VimpelCom on Its Combination With Wind Telecom to Create New Global Telecom Group

(LONDON) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has advised global telecoms operator VimpelCom Ltd. on its combination with WIND TELECOM S.p.A. (Wind Telecom), creating the world’s sixth largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers. The deal was approved by shareholders on March 17, 2011 and closed today April 15, 2011.

As a result of the transaction VimpelCom now owns, through Wind Telecom, 51.7% of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E (Orascom) and 100% of WIND Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. (“Wind Italy”). The combined company has operations in 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, serving 181 million mobile subscribers.

The transaction sees the shareholders of Wind Telecom receive 20% of the share capital of the post-acquisition VimpelCom, US$1.495 billion in cash and certain assets to be demerged from the combined group following completion.

VimpelCom’s licence portfolio previously covered the whole of Russia and Ukraine as well as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It now also includes the licence portfolios of Wind Telecom, the holding company for both Orascom, an Egyptian mobile telecoms company listed on the Egypt and London Stock Exchanges and operating in 10 key markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and Wind Italy, a leading Italian telecoms operator.

Akin Gump’s London-based team advising VimpelCom was led by partner Dan Walsh who commented: “This has been a highly complex deal with multiple elements around the world. It opens VimpelCom up to new markets and provides an excellent global platform for growth. We are delighted to have advised our long-standing client on this highly significant telecoms transaction.”

In addition to Mr. Walsh, the Akin Gump team advising VimpelCom includes partners Fred Heller, Pat Dooley and Sebastian Rice and counsel Harry Keegan, Lisa Hearn and Alexander Lemke, John Strickland and associate Katie Spencer.

UBS and Deutsche Bank also advised VimpelCom.

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 centre 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.

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