Russia's Vimpelcom solves Algeria dispute with $2.6 bln deal

MOSCOW, April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:20am EDT

MOSCOW, April 18 (Reuters) - Russian telecoms operator Vimpelcom said on Friday it had resolved an ongoing shareholder battle in Algeria with the sale of a 51 percent stake in Orascom Telecom Algeria to the Algerian National Investment Fund for $2.6 billion.

The sale by its 51.9 percent-owned unit Global Telecom Holding will reap $4 billion including dividends to the GTH holding company. However, both Vimpelcom and GTH will take a one-off charge of $2 billion related to the settlement of a dispute with Algeria.

GTH will continue to have operational control over Orascom Telecom Algeria, also known as Djezzy. Vimpelcom took over Djezzy as part of a $6 billion deal agreed in 2010 to buy assets from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris to help Vimpelcom diversify outside Russia.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Megan Davies; Editing by Alessandra Prentice)

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