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Russia ‘may sue’ Telenor on VimpelCom stake
18 April 2012
Russian competition regulator FAS attacks Telenor’s stake increase in VimpelCom, claiming breach of law
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, the country’s competition regulator, is planning a lawsuit against Norwegian operator Telenor for raising its stake in Russian rival VimpelCom from 25.01% to 39.51% in 2012, reports news agency Interfax.
According to FAS, Telenor has breached a law which governs foreign investments in companies that are strategically important to the state.
The deal with VimpelCom — which operates in Russia under the Beeline brand — could be cancelled if the court accepts the lawsuit and rules against Telenor, said the report.
The Norwegian operator ended its dispute with rival shareholders in VimpelCom in February, acquiring additional preference shares from Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, which raised its voting stake from 25% to 36.36%. Telenor then raised its voting stake in VimpelCom from 36.36% to 39.51% through a $715 million deal with JP Morgan Securities. GTB
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