Telenor rules out Vimpelcom settlement

29 Jun 2009

Telenor has told the Moscow Times that it will not speak to Russia’s Alfa Group about settling the ongoing dispute over Russian cellular group Vimpelcom unless Farimex drops its lawsuit against the Norwegian telco. Anna Ivanova-Galitsina, a spokeswoman for Telenor said, ‘As long as there is a Farimex case against us, there will be no talks.’ She declined to comment specifically on reports in the Russian press Friday that Telenor and Alfa were in talks over merging mutually owned interests Vimpelcom and Ukraine’s Kyivstar.

In April 2008 Farimex, a minority shareholder in Vimpelcom, initiated a lawsuit against Telenor accusing the company of having caused losses to Vimpelcom shareholders by delaying its entry into Ukraine’s mobile market, and on 20 February 2009 a court in Omsk held Telenor liable for USD1.7 billion. Telenor is currently appealing the ruling, which has seen its 29.9% stake in Vimpelcom seized by bailiffs to cover the fine; the appeal is scheduled for 30 September 2009.

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