Alfa ends three-year Kyivstar boardroom boycott

17 Dec 2008

Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar has held its first shareholders’ meeting since 2005, in which it elected a new board consisting of five representatives from its largest stakeholder Telenor of Norway and four from Russian co-owner Alfa Group. Alfa representatives have boycotted the Ukrainian cellular market leader’s boardroom over disagreements on corporate strategy with the Norwegian group, with which it also shares ownership of Russian mobile group Vimpelcom. The failure to hold shareholders’ meetings and elect a board has meant that GSM-based operator Kyivstar, which has around USD1.5 billion in cash, has not been able to distribute dividends. However, failure to attend the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday (Tuesday) would have given Telenor the right to collect fines from Alfa under a recent US federal court ruling. At a second EGM, Kyivstar decided to pay dividends of UAH3.46 billion (USD439 million at today’s rate) for 2004/05.

Ukraine, Kyivstar, Telenor Group