* Telenor seeks injunction in deal for Orascom, Italy's Wind
* Altimo offers expedited arbitration with award by March 7
* Telenor says no objections to doing arbitration quickly
* Says to continue to pursue arbitration, injunction request
* Shareholders due to vote on deal for Wind on March 17
(Adds comments by Telenor)
By Maria Kiselyova and Wojciech Moskwa
MOSCOW/OSLO, Feb 10 Russia's Altimo has asked
Telenor (TEL.OL), its Norwegian co-owner of Vimpelcom VIP.N,
to speed up the legal process that it hopes will settle a
dispute over Vimpelcom's plan to take over Egypt's Orascom
ORTE.CA and Italy's Wind.
Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russian billionaire Mikhail
Fridman's Alfa-Group, said in a statement on Thursday it thought
an 'expedited arbitration' with a final decision by March 7
could resolve the dispute.
Telenor said it had no objections to the arbitration process
being quick but it was committed to blocking the Vimpelcom deal.
Telenor is battling to stop 36 percent-owned Vimpelcom's
cash-and-share bid to buy Italian mobile group Wind and control
of Egypt's Orascom from tycoon Naguib Sawiris as the deal would
dilute Telenor's holding to a point where it claims it would be
"dangerously close" to losing all influence.
The Norwegian firm is seeking a ruling by the Commercial
Court in London to order Vimpelcom to issue it pre-emptive
rights shares at the same time that Vimpelcom issues shares to
Wind Telecom shareholders as part of the deal. [ID:nLDE7161YB]
"The undertakings proposed by Altimo and Vimpelcom in the
letter to Telenor yesterday guarantee that Telenor will exercise
its pre-emptive rights in full in case an arbitral tribunal
finds in favour of Telenor," Altimo said in the statement.
The fate of the deal hinges upon Vimpelcom's minority
shareholders whose vote will be crucial at a March 17
Telenor wants the meeting postponed while the legal process
runs its course, but Altimo said its fast-track proposal would
allow the meeting to go ahead as planned.
"We don't feel that this (Altimo) proposal gives us any
guarantees apart from what is already in the (Vimpelcom)
shareholders' agreement ... We intend to keep up arbitration and
our request for an injunction," Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by