TeliaSonera to take over Turkcell

TeliaSonera already controls a 37.09% stake in Turkcell and has been in determined pursuit of a controlling stake in the Turkish operator for over a year.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  March 27, 2005

Nordic telecoms operator TeliaSonera is set to gain a controlling stake in Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell, having agreed to pay US$3.1 billion in cash for an additional 27% stake in the operator from Cukurova Group. TeliaSonera already controls a 37.09% stake in Turkcell and has been in determined pursuit of a controlling stake in the Turkish operator for over a year. "It's the ambition of TeliaSonera to find ways to increase our ownership stake in Turkcell to a controlling stake," Samppa Seppala, vice president of communications at TeliaSonera International said last year. Cukurova currently holds a 42% stake in Turkcell and if TeliaSonera’s offer were successfully concluded, this would fall to 15%, while TeliaSonera’s stake would rise to 64.09%. A further 14.74% of Turkcell is publicly floated on the stock exchange, while 6.07% is held by M.V. Group. Last year, Cukurova lost control of its stake in Turkcell temporarily following the seizure by the Turkish government of a large portion of the stake as security for US$6.2 billion in debt owed by two Cukurova-owned banks to the state. The debt was subsequently restructured and control of its entire equity position in Turkcell was reinstated to Cukurova. Turkcell in the meantime counted over 23 million subscribers at the beginning of this year and has announced the deployment of EDGE in its network.

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