Altimo increases VimpelCom stake

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission this weekend show that Russian conglomerate Alfa Group has raised its holding in Russia’s second largest cellco, VimpelCom, to almost 40 per cent.

Alfa performed the move via Gibraltar-based Eco Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian firm.

The move is expected to give Altimo greater hold over VimpelCom as the Russian firm has been locked in a bitter legal dispute with fellow VimpelCom shareholder, Telenor, for some years now.

Altimo has been engaged in legal wrangling with Telenor, since the Russian company encouraged VimpelCom to acquire another cellco, Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS) in 2005. Telenor maintains URS is a bad investment and causes the Nordic operator a conflict of interest as Telenor holds a stake in another Ukrainian operator, Kyivstar.

Altimo also holds a stake in Kyivstar.

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