Egyptian tycoon denies Independent takeover bid

February 3, 2010
By

Samih Sawiris - Dailynewsegypt

An Egyptian billionaire has denied reports he was involved in talks to buy the Independent newspapers.

MediaGuardian.co.uk on Tuesday said that Samih Sawiris, the chairman and chief executive of Orascom Development Holding and one of three sons of Onsi Sawiris, founder of the Orascom group of companies in the 1950s, has been negotiating with London Evening Standard owner Alexander Lebedev over joining his proposed bid for the Independent and Independent on Sunday.

However, Sawiris told British media on Wednesday that he was not aware of his alleged involvement with the Independent titles.

“I had previously been unaware that the Independent was even up for sale, and had certainly never expressed any interest in buying it or being involved in buying it. If I had that much spare money, I would use it to buy a boat, not a newspaper,” he was quoted as saying by MediaGuardian.co.uk.

His only involvement with Lebedev, he reportedly said, was over the purchase of wooden pre-fab housing units to use for his social housing projects in Egypt.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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