Telenor takes VimpelCom to arbitration

Norway-based telco Telenor has followed through on its promise to fight VimpelCom’s acquisition of Wind Telecom, launching arbitration proceedings against the deal.
The firm has requested the tribunal to ascertain whether the proposed acquisition breaches rules defined in VimpelCom’s Shareholders Agreement, and whether it can exercise pre-emptive rights to block the transaction.
Telenor, which owns 39.6% of VimpelCom, vowed to block the deal in December, claiming that it doesn’t offer good value to shareholders.
VimpelCom will create the world’s sixth largest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers if its proposed €5 billion acquisition of Wind parent Weather Investments is cleared.

The Russian carrier’s board approved the transaction mid-January, however Telenor argues the deal on the table makes no financial sense because it will result in Wind holding voting rights of 30.6% in VimpelCom despite only holding a 20% financial stake.