Sonera Takes Control of GSM Investor Group

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The Dutch holding company Fintur Holdings has been split into two separate companies one comprising the international GSM business and a second that will comprise of the national Turkish digital TV ISP and other data transmission businesses.

Fintur's current shareholders are the Cukurova Group (39.69%), Sonera (35.31%) and Turkcell (25%).

The proposed deal would allow Sonera to buy 23.24% of Fintur's international GSM business from the Cukurova Group, increasing its stake in the business to 58.55%. Turkcell will buy 16.45% of the international GSM business from Cukurova Group, increasing its holding to 41.45%. Sonera and Turkcell then intend to sell to Cukurova Group their total holdings in the loss making technology business.

The net compensation to be paid by Sonera to Cukurova Group resulting from these transactions is expected to be no more than USD120 million. After the closing, Fintur Holding, which will be composed only of the international GSM business, will become a subsidiary of Sonera and will be included in Sonera's consolidated financial statements.

Fintur holds a 51.3% interest in Azercell Telecom of Azerbaijan, an 83.2% interest in Geocell of Georgia, a 51% interest in GSM Kazakhstan of Kazakhstan, and a 77% interest in Moldcell of Moldavia. Jointly they had approx. 1.1 million customers at the end of 2001. Net revenues from Fintur's international GSM business for the first nine months of 2001 were USD126 million, with an EBITDA of USD56 million. The net debt of the international GSM businesses at the end of 2001 was approximately $150 million. The figures are unaudited."

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Tags: turkcell  sonera  cukurova  gsm kazakhstan  fintur holdings  azercell telecom  geocell  moldcell  cukurova  azercell 

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