News From Telecom World

Telenor drops US lawsuit against Russia’s Altimo

Posted on: September 18, 2008

Russia’s Altimo, the telecommunications arm of conglomerate Alfa Group said Wednesday that Norway’s Telenor ASA has dropped a lawsuit filed against it and its affiliate Eco Telecom in the U.S. Federal District Court in New York.

The lawsuit alleged that a suit brought by Vimpel Communications shareholder Farimex which accuses Telenor, Eco Telecom and Altimo of blocking VimpelCom’s attempt to buy Ukranian Radiosystems in 2004 and 2005 had in fact been initiated collusively with Altimo.

The claim was partly based on “various erroneous press reports” that said Farimex’s director is affiliated with Alfa Group, Altimo said.

Telenor vice president Pal Kvalheim confirmed that his company has dropped Altimo and Eco Telecom from its claim against Farimex Products Inc. in New York.

But he told Dow Jones Newswires it will “pursue its claims against Altimo and Eco Telecom relating to the Farimex case in other forums,” including ongoing arbitration proceedings in Geneva. It also said that it will continue to pursue its claims against Farimex in New York.

“Telenor continues to believe that Farimex is an affiliate of, or controlled by, Alfa Group, and stands by all its allegations,” he said.

However, Altimo welcomed Telenor’s decision to drop the case, and said it “continues to believe that … strategic cooperation between Altimo and Telenor is the most beneficial approach to building shareholders’ value.”

Telenor, with 29.9%, and Alfa Group with 44%, are the largest shareholders in VimpelCom.

Source: Total Telecom


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