Minority shareholder sues Telenor for €2.37bn

Telenor's Russian unit has been sued for €2.37 billion (US$3.8 billion) in a Siberian court in the lastest development in a long legal battle, an Associated Press report said. The Norwegian operator's Russian business is accused of damaging another Russian mobile operator, VimpelCom, by one of the latter's minority shareholders.

Telenor said in a statement that it saw no merit in the suit, which follows an almost identical claim for €625,000 (US$1 billion) made by Eco Telecom, part of Russia's Alfa Group, in March.

Telenor is locked in a struggle with Alfa Group, the main owner of Russia's OAO Vimpel Communications, over Vimpelcom wanting to buy the Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar GSM, in which Telenor holds a controlling stake.

'The lawsuit's claims against Telenor are that Telenor harmed VimpelCom by preventing VimpelCom from purchasing Kyivstar and delaying VimpelCom's purchase of Ukrainian Radio Systems,' the statement said.

The latest suit was filed in Khanty-Mansiysk, a remote town in Siberia 2,759 km (1,714 miles) from Moscow by Farimex Products, a British Virgin Islands company. Telenor noted that the court records did not reveal who owns Farimex Products.