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21 Aug, 2008 05:02

Telenor mulling the end of Vimpelcom stake

Telenor mulling the end of Vimpelcom stake

Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor is considering the sale of its stake in VimpelCom.

Telenor, which holds 29.9% in VimpelCom – the operator of Russia's Beeline brand – is mulling ending its venture with the telecommunications arm of Alfa-Group – Altimo.

According to the company's vice president, Telenor is looking for a means to sever ties with Alfa.

But Telenor wants to keep control of Ukrainian operator Kyivstar – another asset held with Altimo on a 56.4% / 43.5% basis.

Telenor and Altimo have been in a long term dispute over the management of Vimpelcom and its strategy, with Vimpelcoms entry into the Ukraine market being the subject of a lawsuit between Telenor and Alfa group filed earlier this year. On Saturday a Russian court ordered Telenor to pay $2.8 billion to Vimpelcom, ruling that it had stalled Vimpelcoms $230 million deal to buy a Ukrainian mobile operator.  Telenor says it will appeal the courts verdict.