Telia sealed a $530 million deal to sell its indirect stake in Turkcell to Turkey Wealth Fund, bringing the curtain down on 15-years of legal battles over ownership and governance of the largest operator in the nation.
In a statement, Telia said the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year, with the fund acquiring its 47.1 per cent stake in Turkcell Holding, the operator’s majority shareholder, subject to regulatory and board approvals.
The agreement includes complete settlement of all disputes and litigation related to the corporate governance and ownership of Turkcell and its holding company dating back to 2005. Telia explained the governance of Turkcell Holding “has been challenging” due to occasional difficulties stemming from disagreements between shareholders.
“Through this divestment, we unwind a long-lasting legal deadlock; we reduce risk, improve leverage and increase liquidity which will generate better shareholder returns in our core markets,” Telia president and CEO Allison Kirkby noted.
Telia began cutting its Turkcell ownership in 2017, to focus on its Nordics and Baltics operations.
Over the past 20 years, Telia said it invested around SEK13 billion ($1.4 billion) in Turkcell, generating dividends and net divestment proceeds of around SEK28 billion.
Telia expects to book a capital loss of SEK3 billion in the current quarter relating to the sale, based on a SEK8 billion book value for Turkcell, along with around SEK17 billion in forex losses.
Turkcell was the biggest operator in Turkey by connections in Q1 with 30.5 million, GSMA Intelligence data showed.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back