Telenor fails to block Vimpelcom stake sale

29 Jul 2009

Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced that a Moscow court has rejected its motion to block the transfer of the assignment to sell its shares in Russian cellco Vimpelcom from local bailiffs to Rosimuschestvo (the federal property management agency). Telenor’s appeal against the decision will be heard on 6 August. 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. The latest motion was lodged in the hope that it would delay the sale of the stake until after the appeal in September.

Russia, Beeline (Russia), Telenor Group, VEON