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Pecik Wants To Sell Telekom Austria Stake To VimpelCom - Report

FRANKFURT -(Dow Jones)- Austrian investor Ronny Pecik has secured a stake of around 20% in Telekom Austria AG (TKA.VI) with various partners, which he plans to sell to Russian telecommunications company VimpelCom (VIP) and Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TKC), Austrian magazine Format reports on its website without naming sources. Pecik and a foreign consortium that includes Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris built up their stake in the Austrian telecommunications company partly by buying options, and want to increase it to up to 30%, according to the report. Pecik, Sawiris and VimpelCom weren't immediately available to comment. Telekom Austria said Monday that Vienna-based RPR Privatstiftung had acquired call options on 5.4% of the company's shares. RPR Privatstiftung belongs to Pecik, according to various media reports. RPR Privatstiftung didn't immediately respond to a Dow Jones Newswires inquiry seeking comment. Telekom Austria Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter said Friday that Austrian law requires investors only to disclose stake holdings of 5%. If investors raise their stake further, they don't have to disclose it. He told journalists on the sidelines of an investors trade show in Vienna that he didn't know whether Pecik and his partners had built up a stake of around 20% in Telekom Austria, but he couldn't rule it out. "We don't want to discriminate against any shareholder," and Telekom Austria isn't in talks aimed at increasing the Austrian state's stake in the company, Ametsreiter said. The Austrian state's investment and privatization agency Oesterreichische Industrieholding AG owns 28% of the company. Austria's financial markets supervisory agency is investigating the deals made by Pecik and his partners to see if they violate shareholding-notification requirements, the Format article says. The Telekom Austria shares held by Pecik and the foreign consortium are "parked" with various Swiss banks, which are holding them as fiduciary or are willing to sell them if required, it adds. Pecik plans to sell the stake step-by-step within two to five years to VimpelCom, and hopes to gain a 30% profit on his initial investment, according to the article. Pecik aims to become a member of Telekom Austria's supervisory board, the article says. VimpelCom and Turkcell are co-owned by Altimo, a Moscow-based unit of Russia's Alfa Group. Article website: http://www.format.at/articles/1142/525/309934/investor-ronny-pecik-telekom-aktien-russland -By Friedrich Geiger, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29725 506; friedrich.geiger@dowjones.com (Nicole Lundeen in Vienna and Olga Razumovskaya in Moscow contributed to this article.)

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