Swedish Mobile Phone Company TeliaSonera, based in Stockholm, agreed to pay $3.1 billion in cash for control of Turkey's largest cellular operator as it taps emerging markets to counter slowing growth at home.
TeliaSonera already controls a 37.09% stake in Turkcell and has been in determined pursuit of a controlling stake in the Turkish operator for over a year.
"It's the ambition of TeliaSonera to find ways to increase our ownership stake in Turkcell to a controlling stake," Samppa Seppala, vice president of communications at TeliaSonera International said last year.
Last year, Cukurova lost control of its stake in Turkcell temporarily following the seizure by the Turkish government of a large portion of the stake as security for US$6.2 billion in debt owed by two Cukurova-owned banks to the state. The debt was subsequently restructured and control of its entire equity position in Turkcell was reinstated to Cukurova.
Turkcell in the meantime counted over 23 million subscribers at the beginning of this year and has announced the deployment of EDGE in its network.
Turkcell's Official Website: http://www.turkcell.com.tr/