Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Altimo, a unit of Russia’s Alfa Group, welcomes Telenor ASA’s decision to end a yearlong dispute over the ownership of mobile phone operator VimpelCom Ltd. and is analyzing the statement, Altimo’s Vice President Evgeny Dumalkin said today.
“We received the Telenor release three hours ago and we are analyzing the issue from all perspectives, including legal,” Dumalkin said in an e-mail. “Initially it looks like positive news.”
Altimo owns a total of 24.993 percent of VimpelCom’s voting shares, Dumalkin said. Alfa Group owns about 75 percent of Altimo, he said.
Telenor said in a statement today that it bought 234 million of VimpelCom’s preferred shares from Weather Investments II S.a.r.l. for $374.4 million, increasing its voting stake in the company to about 36 percent. Telenor also withdrew all its claims against Altimo Holdings & Investments Ltd., Altimo Cooperatief U.A. and VimpelCom Ltd. in the pending arbitration, it said in the statement.
“VimpelCom has become one of the largest operators and we rely on the professional management of VimpelCom in increasing its shareholder value,” Dumalkin said.
Telenor filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 31. The dispute centered on whether Altimo still controls about 25 percent of VimpelCom shares and whether VimpelCom’s board should be replaced.
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