Fintur Holdings – a company owned by Telia and Turkcell – agreed to sell its 51 per cent stake in Azertel to the Azerbaijani state for €222 million.
Azertel is the parent company of Azercell, which GSMA Intelligence figures for Q4 2017 showed was the country’s largest mobile provider by connections with a 39 per cent market share. A majority stake in the operator will now be owned by state-run company AzInTelecom.
Telia, which is the majority shareholder in Fintur Holdings, is in the process of selling assets in Eurasia to focus efforts on its core markets in the Nordics and Baltics, as part of a strategy announced in 2015.
The Sweden-based operator group has already divested several interests in the region, most recently including stakes in Georgia operator Geocell in January, Kazakhstan ICT company KazTransCom in February and Russia’s Megafon in October 2017.
During 2017, Telia was tipped to be looking for a buyer of its entire stake in Fintur Holdings, though several assets held by the company have now been sold individually.
Telia CEO Johan Dennelind said: “It is satisfying that we are able to announce a joint agreement with Turkcell to sell Azercell in Azerbaijan. This is the fourth divestment in our effort to, over time, leave Eurasia and focus on the Nordic and Baltic regions within the framework of our New Generation Telco strategy.”
The operator added the transaction was not subject to any regulatory or competition processes and is complete.