Norway’s Telenor fails to block sale of Vimpelcom stake through Russian courts

Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard.

Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard.

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court refused Tuesday to block the sale of Telenor’s stake in No. 2 Russian mobile phone company VimpelCom, paving the way for the Norwegian company to lose its Russian asset, Telenor said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Moscow Arbitration Court said he had no information about Tuesday’s ruling.

Bailiffs authorized the auction of the majority of Telenor’s 29.9 percent stake last month in a bid to recover $1.7 billion in court-awarded damages. If the sale is allowed to go ahead, Telenor could lose its stake before the completion of its appeal against a Siberian court ruling earlier this year.

A Telenor spokesman said the decision was expected. “There was some disappointment, but it wasn’t much of a surprise,” said Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard. He said that Telenor would decide whether to appeal the decision after reviewing the written verdict.

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