Usmanov objects to proposed TeliaSonera and Alfa tie-up over MegaFon

8 Apr 2010

The plans of TeliaSonera and Alfa Group to combine their respective stakes in MegaFon have hit a potential stumbling block after Alisher Usmanov, the owner of a 31.1% stake in the Russian cellco, filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal. According to the Financial Times, the two companies had invited Usmanov’s telecoms investment vehicle Telekominvest to join the proposed joint venture. However, Telekominvest revealed yesterday that it was instead filing the lawsuit based on a recently introduced Russian law which bars foreign investors from taking control of strategic companies. Altimo, the telecoms arm of Alfa, says that the deal poses no breach of law since the breakdown of stakes in the companies will remain the same. Alfa and TeliaSonera’s proposal also includes merging their respective stakes in Turkish mobile operator Turkcell.

Russia, MegaFon, Telia Company