Alfa proposes Vimpelcom – Kyivstar merger

8 Apr 2009

Alfa Group has contacted Norwegian telecoms group Telenor over a prospective merger between mutual interests Vimpelcom and Kyivstar, Russian business daily Vedomosti reports. According to the proposal, Alfa and Telenor will each get 40% of the new entity. The two companies have been involved in an extended dispute over Vimpelcom and its involvement in the Ukrainian mobile sector, which has seen Telenor’s 29.9% stake in the Russian cellco seized by the courts. Alfa’s telecoms division, Altimo, holds a 44% share in Vimpelcom. Alfa and Telenor co-own Kyivstar, Ukraine’s leading mobile operator, with Telenor holding a 56.5% majority of shares. Telenor is reportedly more interested in holding a controlling stake in Kyivstar than a minority share in a newly formed company.

Earlier this week CommsUpdate reported that Telenor has been served with a notice to pay USD1.7 billion in damages to Vimpelcom, or risk losing its share of the business. Telenor is appealing the court’s decision.

Russia, Ukraine, Beeline (Russia), Kyivstar, Telenor Group, VEON