VimpelCom to appeal freezing of dividends payment
MOSCOW, May 28 - RAPSI. VimpelCom Ltd., the world's sixth-largest cellphone service provider, is planning to contest the court judgment prohibiting the company from paying $598 million in dividends for 2011.
VimpelCom is expecting an amicable settlement of the dispute with the antitrust watchdog, which secured the injunction, the company reports.
At the regulator's request, last week the Moscow Commercial Court banned the operator from implementing the resolution taken at the company's annual general meeting on May 21.
In addition to freezing the dividends, the company was ordered not to take out any loans or make any other management decisions.
The Moscow Commercial Court had previously imposed limitations against VimpelCom's shares, prohibiting VimpelCom Ltd. and VimpelCom Holdings (which own 99.9 percent of VimpelCom) from voting with its shares on a variety of issues.
It also banned VimpelCom shareholders Telenor and Weather Investments from changing the board membership or using an option agreement between shareholders.
The watchdog took Telenor to court to invalidate its acquisition of VimpelCom's shares from Weather Investments, owned by Egyptian businessman Nagib Sawiris.
Following the transaction, Telenor increased its stake in VimpelCom Ltd. from 25.01 to 36.36 percent.
The court will hear the case on its merits on October 17.
On May 31 the VimpelCom Ltd. supervisory board will discuss the date of the next annual general meeting of shareholders.