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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Telenor Hints at Merging Kyivstar

OSLO -- Telenor, Norway's biggest phone company, may agree to merge its Ukrainian Kyivstar mobile phone unit with VimpelCom, in which it has a stake, the daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported, citing Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.

Combining Kyivstar and VimpelCom some time in the future is not "unthinkable," Baksaas told the paper. A merger would depend on an agreement with VimpelCom's biggest shareholder, Alfa Group, on ownership, he added.

Telenor is trying to stop VimpelCom from expanding in Ukraine by buying Ukrainskiye Radiosystemy, pitting the Norwegian company against VimpelCom's biggest shareholder, Alfa Group. Alfa owns about 33 percent of VimpelCom, and Telenor owns about 27 percent. Ukrainskiye Radiosystemy competes against Kyivstar, Ukraine's No. 2 mobile-phone company, which is controlled by Telenor.