Telenor’s consulting costs skyrocketed

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Bills for communications and legal advice needed from external consultants and lawyers led to a sharp rise in costs at the Oslo headquarters of troubled telecoms firm Telenor late last year, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

The company’s dismal fourth-quarter results, released on Wednesday, also reveal that Telenor spent an extra NOK 230 million (USD 27 million) paying bills from consultants called in to help executives deal with their VimpelCom corruption investigation and other problems.

“There have been considerable costs in the fourth quarter tied to external advice around VimpelCom,” CEO Sigve Brekke told DN when confronted with what the paper called a “cost explosion” at Telenor’s headquarters.

“We hope the situation will eventually ease,” Brekke added. The company remains caught up in the probes of allegations that its partly owned mobile phone firm VimpelCom paid bribes in order to expand into Kazakhstan. Telenor also has experienced associated top executive- and board-level turbulence and costs from Brekke’s new strategy work after taking over as CEO late last summer. staff