Telenor Opposes Vimplecom/Orascom Deal

Telenor has long expressed its concerns over the expected Vimplecom/Orascom transaction, however, today the group has formally communicated its reservations to VimpelCom Ltd.’s Chairman.

Telenor, in an email, noted that it has determined that the proposed acquisition by VimpelCom Ltd. of Weather Investments S.p.A. is not in the best interests of VimpelCom shareholders and therefore does not intend to support the transaction.

“We strongly support VimpelCom’s expansion in accordance with the principles agreed at the time the company was created.

However, in our capacity as a shareholder of VimpelCom Ltd., we do not believe this transaction makes strategic or financial sense for VimpelCom’s shareholders,” said Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard.

Telenor ASA holds a 36% voting and 39.6% economic interest in VimpelCom Ltd.

Earlier, VimpleCom had offered USD 6.8 billion, to Naguib Sawiris to get hold of controlling stakes in Orascom Telecom. An MoU in this regard was signed in October. Transaction was scheduled to be completed by February 2011.