UPDATE: Tele2 Russia still attracting interest despite confirmation of sale

VimpelCom and MTS still plan to bid for Tele2’s Russian subsidiary, despite reports confirming the sale of the company to VTB bank.

The rival companies partnered to make a bid of between $4 billion to $4.25 billion, which outbids VTB’s agreed purchase for $3.5 billion.

"The new provisions of VTB and Tele2 deal do not change our plans,” said Yelena Kokhanovskaya, spokesperson for MTS.

“We have a clearly superior offer which is financially up to 30% more attractive for Tele2 AB shareholders. We are waiting for an answer from Tele2 to our request.”

Tele2, however, stands by its claim that all options were considered prior to the agreement and that VTB offers other benefits such as rights to half of its net profits for certain sales in the first year.

“We have had a strategic review of our Russian business for the past 18 months, or maybe a bit more than that, and we have spoken to most of the players, if not all ... regional players, federal players, big players, small players," Mats Granryd, CEO at Tele2 told Reuters.

He added that the sale to VTB is expected to close at the end of Q2 this year.