June 5, 2012 / 1:31 PM / in 6 years

Telenor should have made offer for Vimpelcom - Alfa

MOSCOW, June 5 (Reuters) - Vimpelcom shareholder Alfa Group has claimed that fellow shareholders Telenor and Weather II should have launched a mandatory tender offer for the company when Telenor increased its stake in the mobile group.

Norway’s Telenor boosted its voting stake in Vimpelcom to 36.36 percent in mid-February after a deal with Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris’s company Weather, taking back partial control of the company from Alfa’s telecoms arm Altimo - with which it has fought a years long corporate battle.

“Altimo claims that Telenor and Weather II violated the provisions contained in Section 16 of the Company’s bye-laws by not commencing a mandatory tender offer as a result of the Preferred Share Transactions,” Vimpelcom said in a Tuesday statement.

“Altimo asserts that Telenor and Weather II formed a ”group“ owning more than a 50 percent voting interest in VimpelCom as a result of the Preferred Share Transactions,” Vimpelcom said.

The deal has also been opposed by Russia’s state competition watchdog, which filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court seeking to undo the transaction.

Alfa is the investment group owned by the billionaire Mikhail Fridman. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by John Bowker)

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