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Transfer of OTMT's assets has no pricing basis: Sawiris - Daily News Egypt

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Transfer of OTMT’s assets has no pricing basis: Sawiris

Sources asserted that Sawiris continues to defend claims over committing violations by transferring OTMT's assets to OTMT Acquisition instead of Weather Investments

An official source related to the acquisition deal of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) over CI Capital Bank through its affiliated company Beltone Financial revealed the defences that Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris will use to boost his position in the ongoing talks with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) over accusations of committing violations during the division of Orascom Telecom to Global Telecom and OTMT.

The source added that EFSA explained that Sawiris pledged that Weather Investments will keep 51% of OTMT’s assets while they were transferred to OTMT Acquisition. Sawiris replied that Russian VimpelCom acquired Weather Investments in 2010, except some assets which were transferred to OTMT after the division.

He continued that these assets have also been transferred to VimpelCom without any evaluation or sale process, but they were transferred to restructure the deal. Then Sawiris restored these assets as they should have been transferred to another entity represented in OTMT Acquisition. The transfer has already been announced in the financial statements which were shared with the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

The source pointed out that Sawiris depends on his defence on the lack of a basis to make a tender offer as OTMT’s assets have not been evaluated during the transfer process to VimpelCom and then restoring them as well as the lack of neither selling nor purchasing process on the basis of any price. Therefore, EFSA’s claim that Sawiris had to have an exception from providing a tender offer was unfounded.

The source said that EFSA inspected OTMT headquarters and Belton last month searching for any undisclosed documents related to the deal, but EFSA did notify the two companies if they found any irregularities or even information hidden by the two companies.

A high-ranking source in EFSA said the authority had not yet reached a settlement with Sawiris regarding the violations attributed to him.

The source explained that the problem lay in Sawiris’ pledge to transfer OTMT’s assets to Weather Investments, which did not happen, and the authority was not notified about the transfer of the assets to OTMT Acquisition. He added that the move requires reconciliation to obtain an exception from providing a tender offer.

The Commercial International Bank (CIB) and Beltone have agreed to extend the period of the acquisition offer for the fifth time to 9 June.

EFSA has linked its approval to the acquisition process by settling the dispute with Sawiris, as well as the conclusion of a judicial dispute between CIB and the shareholders of CI Capital at the Court of Cassation.

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