Mobil'nye TeleSistemy OAO Urges Tele2 AB's Russian Asset To Start Talks Over $4.25 Billion Offer With Vimpelcom Ltd; Rostelekom OAO, VTB Bank OAO In Race For Unit-Reuters
Reuters reported that Mobil'nye TeleSistemy OAO (MTS) on Monday urged Tele2 AB to start talks over the Nordic operator's Russian asset after making a bid of up to $4.25 billion, and said it was strange for management to ignore such an offer. MTS joined with Vimpelcom Ltd, part-owned by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, to bid for Tele2's Russian unit on Thursday, topping a lower bid by Fridman's A1 investment group and an agreed deal with state-controlled bank VTB Bank OAO. MTS and Vimpelcom are bidding for Tele2 Russia to try and prevent government-controlled Rostelekom OAO from taking the asset, some analysts have speculated. MTS said it has still had no response from Tele2. VTB has said that its deal is concluded and legally binding. MTS and Vimpelcom's offer to buy Tele2 was for $4.0 billion to $4.25 billion, topping A1's all-cash bid of $3.6-$4 billion and VTB's $3.5 billion deal. A1 said that it may take legal action to defend its right to buy.
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