Altimo to Invest Megafon Cash Into VimpelCom, Vedomosti Reports

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Altimo may use dividends from OAO Megafon to increase its stake in another cell-phone operator, VimpelCom Ltd., Vedomosti said, citing an unidentified company official.

Altimo, a telecommunication division of Fridman’s Alfa Group, will receive about $1.5 billion in dividends from Megafon and plans to use the cash to buy 6 percent stake in VimpelCom from Ukraine’s billionaire Victor Pinchuk, the Moscow-based newspaper said.

The planned transaction may increase Altimo’s stake in VimpelCom to 31 percent, Vedomosti said. Altimo is competing for the influence over the company with Norway’s Telenor ASA, which owns more than 39 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net