* Says deal "excellent result" for shareholders
* Completion comes despite rival offers
STOCKHOLM, April 4 Nordic telecom operator Tele2
said on Thursday it had completed the sale of its
Russian business to state-controlled bank VTB, despite
complaints from rival bidders.
Tele2 struck a $3.5 billion deal last week to sell the
assets to VTB and carried it out in a rapid sale process though
it was topped by two alternative offers, both linked to Russian
billionaire Mikhail Fridman.
Tele2 Chairman Mike Parton said in a statement the
completion of the deal was an "excellent result" for the
company's shareholders, among which Swedish investment group
Kinnevik is the biggest.
"Our cash investment in this business was SEK 6 billion and
this has generated a cash return of over SEK 27 billion
including the transaction, much of which has been returned to
our shareholders," Parton said.
Among the rival bidders, Russia's top mobile phone operator
MTS teamed up with No.3 player Vimpelcom - part
owned by Fridman - to bid $4.0-4.25 billion for the asset.
Fridman's investment company A1 also bid, offering $3.6-$4
billion and threatening legal action against Tele2 and its
adviser Morgan Stanley.
MTS, Vimpelcom and A1 all declined to comment on the news of
Tele2's completion of the deal with VTB.