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VimpelCom Answers Telenor

HELSINKI — VimpelCom said merging with Wind Telecom would help it expand in emerging markets and take advantage of growing data sales and industry consolidation.

"The future belongs to those operators who will have the strength to shape the industry over the medium term," VimpelCom chief executive Alexander Izosimov said in a letter to investors dated Monday. Diversifying away from the ruble would also help, he said.

Izosimov was rebutting points in last week's letter from Telenor urging other shareholders to reject the merger. Telenor suggested VimpelCom pay an extra dividend of at least $1 a share instead of making the deal with Wind Telecom, according to the letter dated March 2.


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