Russian daily Vedomosti reports that Norwegian telecoms group Telenor and Russia’s Alfa Group are nearing an agreement to merge their mutually owned interests Vimpelcom and Kyivstar. The deal proposes that Alfa’s telecoms arm, Altimo, and Telenor each take on a 40% share of the merged company, with remaining shares distributed amongst other Vimpelcom shareholders. The two companies have been involved in an extended dispute over Russian cellular group Vimpelcom and its participation in the Ukrainian mobile sector, which has seen Telenor’s 29.9% stake in the cellco seized by the courts. Altimo holds a 44% share in Vimpelcom. Alfa and Telenor co-own Kyivstar, Ukraine’s leading mobile operator, with Telenor holding a 56.5% majority of shares. The proposed joint venture would own approximately 75% of Vimpelcom and 100% of Kyivstar. Vimpelcom owns 100% of smaller Ukrainian GSM operator Ukrainian Radio Systems (which uses the Beeline brand) as well as integrated telecoms provider Golden Telecom, which shares the Beeline brand in Russia and Ukraine.
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