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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

VimpelCom Eyes Golden Telecom

VimpelCom said Friday that it would consider buying Golden Telecom, a provider of Internet and fixed-line services.

"We are open to making such an acquisition," VimpelCom spokeswoman Yelena Prokhorova said, citing CEO Alexander Izosimov. "We are considering this possibility, among others."

Vedomosti reported Friday that VimpelCom was in talks with Golden Telecom shareholders including billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group and Norway's Telenor, which are also VimpelCom's largest shareholders. Prokhorova said VimpelCom was not in talks with either Alfa or Telenor.

Telenor spokeswoman Anna Ivanova-Galitsina said VimpelCom had not approached Telenor with an official offer for Golden Telecom. Kirill Babayev, vice president at Altimo, Alfa's technology unit, declined to comment.

Buying control over one of the largest fixed-line operators with ambitious plans to introduce national residential broadband services would "make strategic sense for VimpelCom,'' Deutsche UFG wrote in a research note.

Golden Telecom plans to roll out networks in the country's 65 largest cities with a combined population of 65 million people to provide access to broadband Internet. VimpelCom has said it would like to tap into that market.

An acquisition of Golden Telecom may be complicated due to an ongoing conflict between Alfa and Telenor, Deutsche UFG said.