Telenor - Vimpelcom showdown set for later this month

6 Feb 2006

A preliminary hearing in a lawsuit brought by Norwegian telco Telenor against its Russian investment partner Vimpelcom will be held in a Moscow court on 26 February, according to Telenor’s legal department. Telenor initiated three lawsuits against Vimpelcom, in which it holds a 29.9% interest, on 26 January, with the overall aim of annulling the Russian cellco’s decision to buy Ukrainian mobile operator Ukrainian Radio Systems (which operates under the brand name WellCOM). Whilst steadfastly opposing the WellCOM takeover, Telenor said it will support alternative expansion strategies in the region. Jan Edvard Thygesen, head of Telenor’s central and eastern European operations, reported that in a recent Vimpelcom board meeting: ‘Telenor’s nominees repeated their invitation to management to explore lower risk alternatives for entering the Ukrainian market, including a service provider agreement with one of the established operators.’