Telenor Dismisses VimpelCom Suit

OSLO -- Norway's Telenor said Thursday that a $3.8 billion lawsuit filed in a Siberian court by Farimex Products, a fellow shareholder in mobile firm VimpelCom, was groundless.

British Virgin Islands-based Farimex says Telenor harmed VimpelCom by preventing it from purchasing Ukrainian mobile group Kyivstar and delaying VimpelCom's purchase of Ukrainian Radio Systems, Telenor said Thursday.

"This lawsuit has no merit," Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard said in a statement. "Telenor's investment in VimpelCom is one of our largest assets, and we have always acted in VimpelCom's best interests."

Farimex asked the court in Khanty-Mansiisk to arrest Telenor's stake in VimpelCom, where it has 29.9 percent of the votes and 33.6 percent of total shares.

"We also find it peculiar that a lawsuit from a company based in the British Virgin Islands should be launched in this Siberian city, and we are investigating the question of who is behind it," Melgaard said.