MOSCOW, April 2 Russian mobile phone firms
Vimpelcom and MTS said they are still offering
to buy the Russian unit of Tele2 after the Nordic company said
it had been aware of all options before striking a deal with
Russian state bank VTB.
"We plan to proceed with our offer, which we believe offers
greater value to the shareholders of Tele2," said Vimpelcom
spokesman Bobby Leach.
MTS and Vimpelcom, ranked first and third in the Russian
market, offered $4 billion to $4.25 billion for Tele2 Russia
last week, outbidding VTB's agreed purchase of $3.5 billion.
Tele2 defended the deal, saying it decided to sell the asset
to VTB being fully aware of other options and that the deal
included provisions under which it would, for 12 months after
closing, have rights to half of net cash profits obtained by VTB
from a possible re-sale.
"The new provisions of VTB and Tele2 deal do not change our
plans. We have a clearly superior offer which is financially up
to 30 percent more attractive for Tele2 AB shareholders. It has
full financing and regulatory clearance prospective," said MTS
spokeswoman Yelena Kokhanovskaya.
"We are waiting for an answer from Tele2 to our request,"
A spokesman for Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's
investment partnership A1, which also offered to buy the unit
last week, said A1 was aware of the new details disclosed by
Tele2 but declined to make any further comments.