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Russian telecom may not be sexy, but it is emerging as a more stable business than Egypt, and this might raise new questions about VimpelCom’s (NASDAQ:VIP) proposed merger with Egypt-based Orascom Holdings’ telecom assets (OTC:ORSTF).

As it is, VIP will now pay only $1.5 billion in cash for ORSTF and its wireless networks spread around the Mediterranean and across South Asia and make up the $300 million shortfall in the $6.8 billion deal with preferred stock.

But with Egypt in turmoil and local carriers forced to crack down on voice and data traffic, is it even worth $1.5 billion?

If this deal unwinds, expect a major positive move from VIP — out of relief. Previously we covered the terms:

VIP scales back ORSTF merger terms

By Tim Seymour

January 17th, 9:57 am

VimpelCom may get its board of directors to approve a slightly less generous proposal to buy the frontier markets telecom assets of Egypt’s Orascom holdings.

VIP "will now pay only $1.5 billion in cash for ORSTF " and its wireless networks spread around the Mediterranean and across South Asia and make up the $300 million shortfall in the $6.8 billion deal with preferred stock.

However, that much voting stock would also give ORSTF owner Naguib Sawiris 31% of the proxies in the combined company — more than current major shareholder Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY), which has once again voted against the proposal.

Source: Egypt's Woes Put VimpelCom Deal Into Question