Telenor to contest Siberian court decision

18 Aug 2008

Telenor announced at the weekend that it would appeal the decision of a court in Siberia which ordered the Norwegian telecoms group to pay Russian cellco Vimpelcom USD2.8 billion in damages. The Russian court found in favour of Virgin Islands-based Farimex, a Vimpelcom minority shareholder which lodged a complaint that Telenor had delayed Vimpelcom’s takeover of Ukrainian GSM operator Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS, now rebranded Beeline) by a year. Telenor holds 29.9% of voting shares in Vimpelcom, which owns 100% of URS. The Oslo-based company said in a statement, ‘Telenor believes the ruling is unfounded, and will pursue all possible legal remedies to reverse the decision,’ adding that, ‘although named as a third party in Farimex’s complaint, Vimpelcom has not participated in the case.’