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Russia Drops Lawsuit Against Telenor Over Vimpelcom Shareholding

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Russia's Federal Anti Monopoly Service has dropped its lawsuit against Telenor after the Norwegian firm raised its stake in Russia based Vimpelcom early last month.

The dropping of the lawsuit was expected though after Vimpelcom's main shareholder, Altimo Group raised its own holding in the company above Telenor's last month.

The FAS said that it has asked the Arbitration Court in Moscow to reverse the injunctions it had previously passed, which will also enable Vimpelcom to make blocked dividend payments to its shareholders.

At the beginning of October, Telenor increased its holding in VimpelCom to 42.95%, compared to Altimo's 41.85%. Telenor's recent decision to increase its holding in the company was being opposed by the regulators who wanted to see the largest shareholder remain Russian.

A few weeks later, Altimo purchased just under 6 percent of Vimpelcom shares from Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk - raising its stake to 47.85% and giving it effective control of the company.

Telenor had long argued that Altimo effectively controlled the Ukrainian stake anyway, and the purchase simply formalized a long held suspicion.

Subject to the court approval of the request by the FAS to drop its lawsuit, Vimplecom will be able to hold its first shareholder meeting on over a year next month.

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Tags: vimpelcom  altimo  telenor  Russia