Akin Gump and Cleary Gottlieb lead $21.5 billion telecom merger

October 7, 2010 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have taken lead roles on a merger between Amsterdam-based VimpelCom with Weather investments.

If the agreement gets regulatory approval VimpelCom will own 51.7 percent of Weather's Orascom Telecom and all of Wind Telecommunicazioni. Weather shareholders would receive $1.8 billion in cash, along with 326 million shares of VimpelCom stock, representing a 20 per cent interest in the newly merged company. The two entities had combined total revenue of $21.5 billion in 2009.

M&A partner Daniel Walsh leads the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld team advising VimpelCom, and is joined international finance partner Fred Heller and M&A partners Patrick Dooley and Sebastian Rice. Akin Gump is a longtime advisor to the telecom.

Weather Investments, a privately held telecommunications investment company owned by Egyptian billionaire and telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris, is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. The firm’s team is led by M&A partners Pierre-Yves Chabert and Gamal Abouali in Paris.

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