Operator Turkcell has increased its presence in Ukraine after striking a $100 million deal to acquire a 44.96 per cent stake in Euroasia Telecommunications.

Turkcell will now assume full control of Euroasia and its Ukrainian mobile subsidiary Astelit, of which it already held a majority stake.

The company launched 3G services through Astelit in Ukraine earlier this month (under the life:) brand) after being awarded licences in February and claims to have since rolled out the service to 2.3 million customers.

In a statement Turkcell said it had signed a share purchase agreement with SCM Holdings, which held the remaining stake.

The deal represents Turkcell’s first major international acquisition since it bought mobile operator BeST in Belarus in 2008.

In an exclusive interview earlier this month, Turkcell’s new CEO Kaan Terzioglu told Mobile World Live that the company was stepping up its plans for growth in Ukraine, as part of his international expansion strategy.

“We believe that Ukraine will be a success story for Turkcell’s international operations and a pilot country as we transfer our experiences to the region,” Terzioglu said in a statement. “With this acquisition, we pave the way towards boosting the momentum and increasing life’s contribution to Turkcell Group as a stronger player in the market.”