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Telenor goes to court to prevent VimpelCom-Wind Telecom merger

© Flickr / Frank SpinTelenor goes to court to prevent VimpelCom-Wind Telecom merger
Telenor goes to court to prevent VimpelCom-Wind Telecom merger - Sputnik International
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Telenor, the Norwegian telecommunication company, has filed an arbitration suit to block a merger between VimpelCom, Russia's second largest mobile phone operator, and Wind Telecom into a major global telecommunication firm, VimpelCom said on Monday.

Telenor, the Norwegian telecommunication company, has filed an arbitration suit to block a merger between VimpelCom, Russia's second largest mobile phone operator, and Wind Telecom into a major global telecommunication firm, VimpelCom said on Monday.

VimpelCom, in which Telenor holds 36.03%, and Wind Telecom, which belongs to Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, signed a merger deal last October to create the world's sixth largest telecommunications firm. But Telenor sent a letter to VimpelCom on December 19 saying it did not support its merger with Weather Investments, as Wind Telecom was called at the time.

On January 17 the supervisory board of VimpelCom approved a revised merger deal, despite opposition from Telenor.

Six out of nine supervisory board members, including all three independent directors and three directors appointed by Altimo, which holds 44.65% of voting rights in VimpelCom, backed the deal and three directors nominated by Telenor voted against it.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, VimpelCom will receive 51.7% of Orascom Telecom, an operator in Africa, Asia and Canada, and 100% of Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., an Italian provider.

Shareholders will meet to decide on additional share issue on March 17, 2011.

After the issue of additional VimpelCom shares is over, Telenor and Altimo, the telecoms arm of Alfa Group, which belongs to billionaire Mikhail Fridman, are expected to hold 31.7% and 31.4% of VimpelCom's economic rights and 25% and 31% of the voting rights, respectively.

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti)

 

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