Weather Investments is suing the government of Algeria for US$5 billion, claiming that the state was responsible for damages to the firm’s holding in Orascom Telecom Algérie (branded as Djezzy). The claim has been registered by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Naguib Sawiris, chairman of the Luxembourg-based group, maintains that Algeria has repeatedly breached its international legal obligations to Weather Investments under an investment treaty between Algeria and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union.
Weather Investments claims that the government launched a “campaign of interference and harassment” against Djezzy and Orascom which culminated in the “forced sale” of the Algerian operations to the Algerian State. “We would have kept the business, but we had to sell it, and we had to sell it cheap,” said Sawiris.
The Algerian government is fighting the claim, represented by arbitration group Shearman & Sterling. The group’s head Emmanuel Gaillard confirmed that “Weather Investment has initiated arbitration proceedings for alleged treaty breaches. We intend to vigorously defend the case. We think the claimant has no case.”