Russia court tells Telenor to pay $1.7B in damages

A Russian court on Friday ordered Telenor to pay $1.7 billion in damages to a shareholder who claimed the Norwegian telecommunications firm had cost it money by blocking a takeover deal, a lawyer said.

The ruling is the latest episode in a complex corporate struggle to gain control of Russia’s second largest mobile operator, Vimpelcom, in which both Telenor and Farimex Products Inc. own stakes.

Telenor’s lawyer Grigory Chernyshev said an appeals court in the Siberian city of Omsk agreed with Farimex, which claimed Telenor had caused it investment losses by blocking a takeover deal in Ukraine.

“We consider this decision unlawful and without grounds,” he said in a conference call. “It endangers the Russian legal system and questions its ability to defend investors in Russia.”

He said Telenor would appeal the decision.

Read more on International Herald Tribute.

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