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    Telenor, Alfa Group end legal dispute, set to merge assets

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    Norway's Telenor and Russia's Alfa Group said on Monday they were ending their long-running legal dispute and combining their mobile phone holdings in Russia and Ukraine into a single company.

    MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Norway's Telenor and Russia's Alfa Group said on Monday they were ending their long-running legal dispute and combining their mobile phone holdings in Russia and Ukraine into a single company.

    Telecommunications giant Telenor and Alfa Group, the two main shareholders in Russia's second largest mobile phone operator VimpelCom, have been embroiled in a long-running dispute over the operator's move into the Ukrainian market, with several lawsuits filed by each party in the past few years.

    "The parties have reached an agreement to combine their holdings in OJSC VimpelCom and Kyivstar into a new jointly-owned mobile telecoms operator, VimpelCom Ltd.," Telenor and Altimo, the telecommunications arm of Alfa Group, said in a joint statement.

    The deal will establish a leading emerging markets mobile operator with significant in-market and international growth opportunities, the statement said.

    Altimo will get 43.89% of the voting stock in the new company while Telenor will receive 35.42% and 20.69% will stay in free float. The new company is incorporated in Bermuda, headquartered in the Netherlands and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the statement said.

    "The parties have agreed to suspend all their ongoing legal proceedings and take action to withdraw or settle them prior to the transaction being completed... The parties expect to complete the proposed Exchange Offer and the other related transactions by mid-2010," the statement said.

     

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