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Telenor and Alfa Group strike deal over Vimpelcom

05 октября 2009

Norway’s Telenor and its partner in Russia, the Alfa Group, will pool their Russian and Ukrainian holdings into a New York-listed mobile operator, ending one of the longest corporate wars Russia has ever seen.


They agreed to suspend half a decade of legal battles and move ahead with the deal, Telenor said in a statement.

“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,” Telenor said in a statement.

Alfa’s telecoms unit said on Monday that Telenor would get 35.42 per cent of voting shares in the new company, Vimpelcom Ltd, while Alfa would get 43.89 per cent.

Telenor currently holds 30 per cent of the votes in Russia’s Vimpelcom, while Alfa has 44 per cent of voting stock. Telenor majority owns Kyivstar, and has been reluctant to part with control of the key asset. Alfa is a minority in Kyivstar.

The deal bears rough similarities to Alfa’s peace deal with BP, its partners in a Russian oil venture, where the foreign partner took a reduced role in an unhappy partnership, though their peace deal did not change the structure of their joint venture.

Minority shareholders in Vimpelcom, Russia’s number two mobile operator and the current listed entity, would receive one depositary receipt for each Vimpelcom depositary receipt currently held, or be bought out at 0.05 kopecks per depositary receipt.

Vimpelcom welcomed the statement, saying it would create a new base for growth. Altimo said the company would pursue expansion in developing markets of Europe, Asia and Africa. Telenor and Alfa were expected to hold a news conference in Moscow at 0800 GMT.

Источник: Financial Times

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