The Moscow Arbitration Court has rejected for a third time an appeal by Norway’s Telenor to nullify the agreement under which Russian cellco Vimpelcom acquired Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS). The original decision to buy Ukraine’s fourth largest mobile operator was taken in 2005 by Vimpelcom’s CEO Alexander Izosimov without the unanimous approval of the board of directors, which includes representatives from the Oslo-based telco. Telenor and Russia’s Alfa Group, which own 26.6% and 32.9% of Vimpelcom respectively, have fought a lengthy legal battle over Vimpelcom’s strategy in Ukraine, where both sides also jointly own mobile market leader Kyivstar. The latest court decision can be appealed.
News reports today said that Alfa Group has increased its voting stake in Vimpelcom from 32.9% to 35.8%.