On March 21, 2008, Alf Group subsidiary Eco Telecom commenced an arbitration proceeding against Telenor East Invest AS, claiming that Telenor violated the VimpelCom Shareholders Agreement by delaying VimpelCom's purchase of Closed Joint Stock Company "Ukrainian Radio Systems" (URS) by approximately one year, and that VimpelCom and Eco Telecom suffered harm as a result. Eco Telecom is claiming damages of US$1 billion. Telenor sees this proceeding has having no merit, and will oppose it.
“Alfa recently lost both the VimpelCom and Kyivstar-related arbitration proceedings brought by Telenor,” said Telenor Chief Press Spokesman Dag Melgaard. “It is hard to see this claim as anything but an attempt by Alfa to pressure Telenor and attract media attention with its US$1 billion damage claim. VimpelCom’s purchase of URS was an overpriced, non-transparent transaction. URS’s weak performance since it was acquired by VimpelCom has confirmed that this was not agood deal for the VimpelCom shareholders.”
Telenor owns 33.6% of VimpelCom’s shares of common stock and 29.9% of VimpelCom’s voting capital stock. The arbitration proceeding brought by Alfa will be conducted in Geneva, Switzerland under the UNCITRAL
arbitration Rules before a panel of three arbitrators.
Dag Melgaard, Vice President Group Communications, Telenor ASA
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