Akin Gump Advises VimpelCom on the Sale of Its Stake in Orascom Telecom Algérie (Djezzy)

(London) – International law firm Akin Gump is advising global telecoms operator VimpelCom Ltd in relation to the sale by VimpelCom’s Egyptian-listed subsidiary Global Telecom Holding (GTH) of its 51 percent stake in Orascom Telecom Algérie (OTA or “Djezzy”) to the Fonds National d’Investissement (FNI), the Algerian National Investment Fund, for a purchase consideration of $2.643 billion plus dividends and proceeds, due to be distributed immediately prior to closing, of $1.862 billion.

The deal signed on Friday, April 18, 2014, and is anticipated to close by the end of 2014. Upon closing, the parties will settle all outstanding disputes, at which point GTH and the FNI will enter into a shareholders’ agreement that will govern their relationship as shareholders in OTA going forward.

GTH will maintain operational control over Djezzy, which is Algeria’s principal mobile network operator, and VimpelCom will continue to fully consolidate OTA. This partnership between GTH and the FNI provides OTA with a stable shareholder structure on which to build and strengthen its operations in Algeria.

The transaction follows VimpelCom’s combination with Wind Telecom in April 2011, which created the world’s sixth-largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers and included the acquisition of 51.7 percent of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. Akin Gump also advised VimpelCom in this transaction, which was recognized by Financial Times (Corporate Law - Emerging Markets Law Firm of the Year 2011) and Legal Business (Corporate Team of the Year, 2012).

Akin Gump’s London-based team advising VimpelCom was led by corporate partners Dan Walsh and Sebastian Rice with support from finance partner Fred Heller, international disputes partner Justin Williams, counsel Graeme Bell and David Sewell and associates Francesca Sullivan, Anthony Martinez and Amanda Tan as well as teams in the firm’s London and Moscow offices.

Dan Walsh commented: “This is another highly significant development for VimpelCom, and we are very pleased to be advising our long-standing client in this complex transaction.”

Gide Loyrette Nouel is advising VimpelCom in relation to French and Algerian law, led by partners Jean-Gabriel Flandrois and Samy Laghouati. Shearman & Sterling is advising the Fonds National d’Investissement (FNI).

This transaction received substantial legal media attention. The American Lawyer noted Walsh and Rice as lead counsel in its article “Akin, Shearman Help Broker Algerian Telecom Peace.” It was also reported by Law360 for its article “Vimpelcom To Sell $2.6B Orascom Stake To End Tax Case.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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