April 2, 2013 / 9:20 AM / 5 years ago

MTS, Vimpelcom still interested in Tele2 Russia-source

MOSCOW, April 2 (Reuters - Mobile phone firms MTS and Vimpelcom remain interested in Tele2’s Russian unit even after the Nordic operator said a sale to Russian state bank VTB was closed.

A source familiar with the MTS-Vimpelcom offer to Tele2 said on Tuesday the pair was still interested in the asset and was considering all options. “MTS and Vimpelcom are being proactive,” the source told Reuters.

MTS and Vimpelcom, ranked first and third on the Russian market, offered $4 billion to $4.25 billion for Tele2 Russia last week, outbidding VTB’s agreed purchase for $3.5 billion.

Tele2 defended the deal, saying it included provisions under which it would for 12 months after closing have rights to half of net cash profits obtained by VTB from certain types of transfers of Tele2 Russia shares and assets.

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