Telenor steps up legal battle with Vimpelcom

Norwegian telco seeks court injunction to protect its pre-emptive rights

Tags: Mergers and acquisitionsNorwayOrascom Telecom HoldingRussiaTelenor (www.telenor.com)VimpelCom (www.vimpelcom.com)
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Telenor steps up legal battle with Vimpelcom Russian telco Vimpelcom faces further hurdles in its quest to acquire the telecoms assets of Naguib Sawiris.
By  Roger Field Published  February 8, 2011

Norwegian telco Telenor is seeking a court injunction to force Vimpelcom to issue it with shares if the Russian telco is successful in its bid to acquire the telecom assets of Egyptian entrepreneur, Naguib Sawiris.

"Telenor is seeking an injunction that will require VimpelCom to issue to Telenor its pre-emptive rights shares at the same time that VimpelCom issues shares to the Wind Telecom shareholders if the proposed Wind Telecom acquisition is completed," the Norwegian telco said in a statement.

Telenor proposed that the shares be placed in escrow until the arbitration tribunal reaches a decision.

The shares will remain in escrow until the arbitration tribunal determines whether Telenor is entitled to receive its pre-emptive rights shares.

"Telenor believes this proposal is a fair and equitable solution that will preserve the status quo while the arbitration is ongoing and ensure that no party will be unfairly disadvantaged if the Wind Telecom acquisition is completed as presently proposed," said Dag Melgaard, a spokesman Telenor.

VimpelCom originally signed a deal to acquire Wind, which is owned by Egyptian business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, back in October 2010, but Telenor rejected the $6.6 billion deal the following month, leading the Russian telco to propose a revised deal.

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