Vimpelcom, the third largest wireless operator in Russia, gained a new majority owner on Tuesday as local investment firm Altimo purchased a sufficient number of shares to raise its holding to a majority voting stake of 47.85%. More significantly, observers indicate that Altimo’s move has the potential to settle a six month-old lawsuit that was brought by Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator over foreign control of the carrier as held by Norway’s Telenor. A feud between Altimo and Telenor over Vimpelcom’s strategy escalated in May after Telenor announced plans to raise its Vimpelcom stake to 43% with the purchase of shares held previously by Egyptian tycoon Nabuib Sawiris. Charging that the Telenor acquisition violated Russian rules against foreign control of a “strategic” state asset, antitrust regulators convinced a Moscow court first to issue an injunction against the purchase and, later, to suspend the payment of Vimpelcom dividends. This week, Altimo—the holder of a 41.85% interest in Vimpelcom—acquired from Ukrainian firm Bertofan 123.6 million shares that amount to a 6% stake, to raise Altimo’s Vimpelcom shareholding to 47.85%. Predicting that the acquisition “will remove the question of foreign shareholder control in Vimpelcom,” a spokesman for Altimo proclaimed that the deal will “restore normal corporate governance, increase debt servicing efficiency, and allow the payment of dividends.” Although observers agreed that Altimo’s purchase removes the grounds for the antitrust lawsuit, officials of Telenor voiced dismay, telling reporters “our proposition was that we should split these shares in a way that make our respective stakes in Vimpelcom equal.”