Vimpelcom seeks arbitration against Algeria over fine

Telecoms

Russia-focused telecoms firm Vimpelcom said its subsidiary Orascom has submitted a formal notice of arbitration against the Algerian government, escalating a disagreement between the parties over a $1.3 billion fine.

Vimpelcom took over Algerian mobile firm Djezzy as part of a $6 billion deal last year to acquire the assets of Egyptian firm Orascom, but since then the unit has effectively been in limbo as Algeria would prefer to nationalise it.

A court imposed the fine on Djezzy after ruling it made false statements to the Algerian central bank.

Vimpelcom said in a statement that it continued to be open to finding an amicable resolution.