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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Battle Over VimpelCom Reaches U.S. Court

HELSINKI -- Telenor, Norway's largest phone company, said it had filed a U.S. lawsuit against Alfa Telecom as the companies battle over the future of VimpelCom, in which they both have stakes.

Telenor wants Alfa to change "certain misstatements and omissions" Alfa has included in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Telenor said in an SEC filing Tuesday.

Eco Telecom, CTF Holdings and Crown Finance Foundation were also named as defendants in a suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Aug. 26, Telenor said.

Alfa and Oslo-based Telenor have been fighting since the Russian company began pushing for a merger of VimpelCom, second-biggest mobile phone operator in the former Soviet Union, with Ukraine's Kyivstar. Alfa and Telenor are the two largest shareholders in VimpelCom.

Telenor, which owns approximately 26 percent of VimpelCom, has blocked the merger because it would not have a controlling stake in the larger company. Telenor has also hindered plans by VimpelCom to acquire a company in Ukraine. Alfa controls about 33 percent of VimpelCom.

Telenor said in the SEC filing Tuesday that the lawsuit sought to restrict Eco Telecom from voting any shares of VimpelCom at a Sept. 14 shareholder meeting until Alfa and its co-defendants changed the "material misstatements and omissions" in the SEC filings.