SOURCE: Telenor

March 26, 2008 05:46 ET

US District Court Allows Telenor Claims against Altimo in US Securities Case to Proceed to Trial

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) - (Fornebu, Norway and New York, New York - March 26, 2008) The US District Court in New York yesterday issued an opinion in the action brought by Telenor in June 2007, alleging violations of the US securities laws by Altimo and four other Alfa Group affiliates in connection with their purchases of 9.5 per cent of VimpelCom shares between August 2006 and May 2007.

Among other things, the Court held that the facts pleaded by Telenor "support a plausible inference that [the Alfa Group defendants] (1) intended to acquire control of VimpelCom and (2) failed to adequately disclose that intent in their 13D filings." The Court also held that Telenor had "pled facts that support an inference that [the Alfa Group defendants] engaged in an unconventional tender offer" and denied the Alfa Group entities' motion to stay the action and force Telenor into an arbitration proceeding. The Court dismissed Telenor's insider trading claims because Telenor was not able, at the present time, to identify which Alfa executives may have traded on the basis of information disclosed in confidence to the VimpelCom Board.

The case will now proceed to the discovery phase, in which the Alfa Group will have to produce documents and make its personnel available for depositions, at which their testimony will be taken under oath in advance of the trial.

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

A complete copy of the Court's opinion is available at http://hugin.info/130231/R/1203285/246655.pdf

Further information:

Dag Melgaard, Vice President Group Communications, Telenor ASA
tel:  +47 901 92 000
e-mail:  dag.melgaard@telenor.com


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