Telenor ASA (TEL) and Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Altimo may buy Viktor Pinchuk’s 6 percent stake in mobile-phone operator VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) jointly to reach parity, Vedomosti reported, citing Russia’s antitrust regulator.
An ideal solution to the feud between Telenor and Altimo would be for the two investors to acquire Pinchuk’s shares together, the Moscow-based newspaper cited Igor Artemyev, head of Russian Anti-Monopoly Service, as telling reporters. Telenor and Altimo aren’t required to hold exactly the same stakes in VimpelCom, but should have equal representation in the board of directors, Vedomosti said, citing Artemyev.
The watchdog will seek to postpone a court hearing of its claim versus Fornebu, Norway-based Telenor, which was scheduled for Oct. 17, to give the parties time to reach an out-of-court settlement, according to Vedomosti. Telenor now owns about 43 percent of the shares in VimpelCom, while Moscow-based Altimo holds 40.5 percent, it said.
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