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Cukurova Sells Turkcell Stake to Repay Debts

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Turkey's Cukurova has sold a 4.1 percent stake in Tueky's Turkcell for USD772 million in order to fund the repayment of debts. TeliaSonera, which is a major shareholder in Turkcell is understood to have offered to buy the shares, but has not currently been allocated any. The purchase would move TeliaSonera closer to its long held goal of taking control of Turkey's largest mobile operator.

Cukurova currently retains control as it has a majority stake in Turkcell Holding, the financial vehicle which controls Turkcell.

TeliaSonera has been in a long legal fight with Cukurova over control of the company. In January 2007, the International Chamber of Commerce issued an award finding that a binding share purchase agreement was concluded between TeliaSonera and Cukurova in 2005, calling for Cukurova to sell all its shares in Turkcell Holding to TeliaSonera. The award results from an arbitration proceeding in Geneva that TeliaSonera commenced in May 2005 against Cukurova, after Cukurova withdrew from the transaction and entered into another transaction with Russia's Alfa.

Turkcell's shareholder structure is as follows: 51% is held by Turkcell Holding, 4.15% by Cukurova Holding, 13.07% by Sonera Holding, 2.32% by MV Holding and the free float is 29.38%. Cukurova Group controls the company despite holding only 18% of the share capital, due to a complicated shareholding/voting structure.

TeliaSonera owns 47 percent of the shares in Turkcell Holding. TeliaSonera also owns 13 percent of the shares in Turkcell, giving TeliaSonera a direct and indirect ownership of 37 percent in Turkcell.

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Tags: teliasonera  alfa  turkcell  sonera  cukurova  cukurova  international chamber of commerce  geneva  Turkey