Altimo increases stake in VimpelCom

Altimo increases stake in VimpelCom

Russian group Altimo has increased its stake in VimpelCom to give it more control over rival shareholder Telenor.

The move increases the possibility that Russia’s anti-monopoly will drop its case against Telenor, which it has maintained for six months.

As part of the Alfa Group, Altimo has raised its voting stake in the Russian operator from 41.9% to 47.9% after acquiring a 6% stake Ukranian company Bertofan.

Telenor holds a 43% stake in VimpelCom, and the latest development puts the company in the hands of a Russian-owned company, which could go a long way to the anti-monopoly case being dropped.

The service applied for an injunction against Telenor’s share purchase from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris because he was a foreign shareholder, holding control of strategic Russian assets.

A Moscow court then barred VimpelCom’s Russian entity from making payouts, in effect, the company did not pay the final 2011 dividends.