In the latest twist in the long-running saga to take control of Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Cukurova Holding, a Turkish conglomerate, launched an arbitration process to buy out the indirect Turkcell stake held by Russia’s Alfa Group.
Under Turkcell’s complex share structure, Alfa Group, Cukurova Holding and TeliaSonera indirectly own parent company Turkcell Holdings.
According to various reports, Cukurova sued Alfa Telekom in the London Court of International Arbitration. Cukurova reportedly claimed Alfa tried to benefit from infighting between TeliaSonera and Turkcell, which was contrary to its partnership agreement.
Earlier in the month, Alfa Telecom Turkey offered $2.8 billion to buy a 13.76 per cent controlling stake in Turkcell, but the offer was knocked by shareholders.
The latest legal wrangling comes at a time of a new Turkcell CEO, Kaan Terzioglu, who officially took over the helm on 1 April.
The operator has been searching for a new CEO since its previous boss Süreyya Ciliv resigned at the end of January after eight years in the post.
According to GSMA Intelligence, Turkcell has a 48 per cent market share of the country’s 72 million connections.