VimpelCom, Algeria Say To End Dispute Over Djezzy Next Week -Paper

An agreement is about to be signed within the upcoming week between VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) and the Algerian government in order to end the prolonged dispute over Orascom Telecom Holding – OTH (ORTE.CA)’s Djezzy, Algerian newspaper Al-Shrouk reported on Thursday.

The Russian telecommunications company VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) said it has managed to devise a new formula for coordination with the Algerian authorities noting that OTH’s efforts have reached a deadlock to solve the disputes over Orascom Telecom Algerie (OTA) ‘Djezzy’.

All over the last few months, Orascom Telecom Holding went on confirming its plans to go for the international arbitration against People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in respect of the unlawful actions taken since 2008 by the Algerian government against Djezzy.

Vimplecom, which acquired Djezzy in 2011 as a part of a $ 6 billion deal to buy assets of Egyptian firm OTH, had resorted to hold talks with the Algerian government seeking to drop the $1.25 billion fine.

On November 25, the Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris – the Chairman of Weather Investments – announced that the firm has lodged the commercial complaint with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID).

Sawiris said the government of Algeria pursued a campaign of harassment and improper treatment against Orascom Telecom Algérie (OTA), the Algerian telecom group that operates as Djezzy, in which Weather owned a stake.

Algeria repeatedly breached its international legal obligations under an investment treaty between Algeria and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union, he added.

Sawiris said: “In 2001 [we] won the competitive bid to build Algeria’s telecommunications infrastructure, investing $3bn, creating 4,000 jobs and increasing telephone usage by 52 per cent in just seven years.

“The Algerian government committed to a number of protections, including a promise to refrain from arbitrary interference in our operations, but has since 2008 pursued a campaign of interference and harassment which has cost Weather Investments over $5bn in damages.”