SOURCE: Telenor

April 17, 2008 07:29 ET

Telenor Says Lawsuit in Khanty-Mansiysk in Siberia Has No Merit

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - (Fornebu, Norway and Moscow, Russia - April 16, 2008) On April 14, 2008, Telenor Russia received an undated claim in a lawsuit filed in the Khanty-Mansiysk business court in Siberia by Farimex Products, Inc., a British Virgin Islands company whose beneficial ownership was not disclosed in the court filings. The lawsuit's claims against Telenor are that Telenor harmed VimpelCom by preventing VimpelCom from purchasing Kyivstar and delaying VimpelCom's purchase of Ukrainian Radio Systems. Alfa Group subsidiary Eco Telecom made a similar claim against Telenor in a recently filed Geneva arbitration proceeding.

Although Farimex says it owns only 1,250 common VimpelCom shares (with a current market value of less than USD 800,000), Farimex is claiming damages of close to USD 3.8 billion and has requested the Khanty-Mansiysk court to arrest all of Telenor's shares in VimpelCom. Khanty-Mansiysk is a remote town in Siberia, 2,759 kilometers from Moscow, in Russia's largest oil producing province. This follows a recent, largely identical claim raised by Eco Telecom, a part of the Alfa Group, seeking a similar compensation through international arbitration proceedings.

"This lawsuit has no merit," said Telenor Chief Press Spokesman Dag Melgaard. "Telenor's investment in VimpelCom is one of our largest assets, and we have always acted in VimpelCom's best interests. We also find it peculiar that a lawsuit from a company based in the British Virgin Islands should be launched in this Siberian city, and we are investigating the question of who is behind it."

Telenor owns 33.6 percent of VimpelCom's shares of common stock and 29.9 percent of VimpelCom's voting capital stock.

Further information:

Evgenia Cheredkova, PR and Communcations Manager, Telenor Russia
Tel: +7495 937 14 64 or mobile: +7903 680 00 40,
email: evgenia.cheredkova@telenor.com

Copyright © Hugin AS 2008. All rights reserved.

Contact Information