Telenor Wednesday filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in New York against Alfa Group companies for their multiple violations of US securities laws in connection with their purchase of 9.5 per cent of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom between August 2006 and May 2007, including at least two instances of insider trading.
The lawsuit is filed against Altimo, Eco Telecom, CTF Holdings, Crown Finance and Rightmarch in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint describes how on two occasions Alexey Reznikovich, Oleg Malis and Mikhail Fridman, the Alfa Group members of VimpelCom’s Board, received advance notice of VimpelCom’s financial results and a proposed dividend, and caused Eco Telecom and the other Alfa Group defendants to purchase VimpelCom ADSs and shares in the open market prior to VimpelCom’s public disclosure of such information.
“Telenor has taken this action to protect the rights and interests of VimpelCom and its shareholders,” said Jan Edvard Thygesen, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor in Central/Eastern Europe.
Telenor’s complaint alleges that in its purchases of VimpelCom shares and ADSs during the period since August 2006, Alfa committed numerous violations of US securities laws, including making false, misleading and incomplete filings with the SEC, failing to comply with US tender offer rules, and engaging in insider trading.
“Those who sold VimpelCom shares during this period were not informed of Alfa’s intentions and, as a consequence, traded on the basis of incomplete information,” Thygesen said.
Telenor owns 29.9 per cent of the voting shares in VimpelCom.
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