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Sawiris Wants 3 VimpelCom Board Seats

CAIRO — Wind Telecom's chairman sees the company getting three seats on VimpelCom's board within six months if an existing shareholders agreement is scrapped, a newspaper said Tuesday.

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris' firm will ask VimpelCom for the seats in the first shareholders meeting after any cancellation of the agreement, which gives key VimpelCom stakeholders Altimo and Telenor three board seats each, Al Mal reported.

"Sawiris explained … that Wind has a 34 percent voting right, by virtue of the deal, which gives it a right to get three seats on VimpelCom's board, and such procedures could end within six months," the report said.

A spokeswoman for Orascom Telecom, which is owned by Wind, confirmed the report.

Sawiris became a 30.6 percent shareholder in VimpelCom last month after Russia's No. 3 mobile phone operator closed a more than $6 billion deal for Wind Telecom, including Orascom Telecom and Italy's Wind.

VimpelCom's key Russian shareholder Altimo said in April that it expected to scrap a 2009 shareholder agreement with Norway's Telenor to allow Sawiris roughly equal rights in VimpelCom.

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