Telenor announces plans on selling its Vimpelkom share
1.11.12 16:57 By Business Dept.
The Norwegian corporation group Telenor has announced the possibility of selling its $6,4 billion stake in Vimpelcom, one of the world's largest telecommunications group, which in Russia workds under Beeline brand, Financial Times reported on Thursday citing the statement of Tlenor's CEO Jon Baksaas.
He said that it would be "realistic" and "pragmatic" if an offer comes from Russia's Altimo group, Vimpelcom's co-owner. Altimo is the telecommunications investment arm of Russia's Alfa Group, controlled by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman.
"It depends on what has been put on the table. We should be pragmatic. We are realistic to the extent that others have a strong appetite," Baksaas said.
He added that there had been no official talks with Altimo yet.
"I guess there are strategies for the next move," he said. "You can't look at it as one holistic issue but it's such a large amount of money held by Alfa. How the proceeds might be used in the next round is beyond my speculation," Baksaas added.
The deal might put an end to the long-lasting corporate conflict in Russia's economy. Telenor and Alfa Group have been arguing constantly over the strategy for developing mobile business in Russia and over the influence on the operative management of Vimpelcom since 2005.
Altimo group has refused to comment on the matter so far.
Experts say that Altimo is willing to increase its shares in order to receive controlling share of assets in Vimpelcom.
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