Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Omsk appeals court in favour of Telenor... but is this the end of the legal battles?

NORWAY'S biggest phone company Telenor ASA said that a Siberian court has overturned a rulling that could have cost Telenor US$2.8 billion in damages.

In August, a court in Khanty-Mansiysk, also in Siberia, found Telenor liable for damages after delaying OAO VimpelCom's takeover of a Ukrainian mobile operator. The Omsk appeals court canceled the decision by the Khanty-Mansiysk court yesterday, on the grounds of gross violations of the Russion law.

The court will reconsider the case on February 19.

The case is one of several court battles between Alfa Groupand Telenor ranging from New York to Siberia over control at ZATKyivstar GSM and VimpelCom.

The claim in Khanty-Mansiysk was filed by Farimex Products Inc.,which owns 0.002 percent of VimpelCom. Telenor has said Farimex is a front for Russian Oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group

Telenor controls 56.5 percent of Kyivstar and 29.9 percent of VimpelCom. In 2001, Telenor formed a partnership with Fridman,who controls the rest of Kyivstar and 44 percent of VimpelCom.

ZATKyivstar is Ukraine’s biggest mobile-phone company, while VimpelCom is the second-largest wireless provider in Russia.

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