Telenor says Siberian court dismisses complaint
OSLO, April 28 (Reuters) - A Siberian court on Tuesday rejected a stay motion by Telenor to prevent the sale of its stake in Russia's Vimpelcom before it appeals a $1.7 billion Russian court claim, the telecom group said.
Telenor has a 29.9 percent voting stake in Russia's second biggest mobile phone operator Vimpelcom, and was in February ordered by a Siberian court to pay the group $1.7 billion in compensation for allegedly holding back its business in Ukraine.
Farimex, a tiny Vimpelcom shareholder with 0.002 percent of the shares, is behind the lawsuit which Norwegian group Telenor views as part of a long-running row with Alfa Group, co-owner of Vimpelcom, but Alfa has denied any links to Farimex.
Telenor has appealed the decision, which will be heard in a Moscow court on April 30 when it will decide whether to suspend enforcement of the lawsuit.
But on April 3, Telenor was served with an order to pay the damages to Vimpelcom within five working days or risk having its shares sold by bailiffs to raise the money.
This led Telenor to request a stay of execution both in Tyumen and in Moscow, which also earlier was denied by the Tyumen court.
Telenor repeated that it would continue to oppose any attempt to sell its shares in Vimpelcom.