In a milestone general assembly of the Turkish GSM operator Turkcell on Oct. 21, shareholders of the company approved transactions that let Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) acquire 26.2 percent of the stocks and become its controlling shareholder.
With the amendments to the articles of association of the company, LetterOne will increase its share in the company to 24.8 percent, while public shares corresponding to 49 percent of the company remain being traded at the Borsa Istanbul and New York Stock Exchange.
“I would like to thank all our shareholders who have attended our general assembly and voted today. By virtue of this courtesy ensuring that historic decisions were taken, our articles of association have been amended and the shareholders have arrived at a solution,” said Turkcell chairperson Bülent Aksu.
“By common will of our shareholders, the general assembly produced a solution which creates significant value for both the company and the Turkish economy in accordance with the provisions of the legislation and corporate governance
principles,” he added.
“We’ll continue strengthening our innovativeness, high quality, customer satisfaction policy, strong financial structure and our socially responsible business model, all of which exist in our Company’s DNA.”
Turkcell, having approximately 50 million subscribers and one of the strongest infrastructures in the world, also embodies a digital service portfolio spanning music, instant messaging services, personal cloud storage platform used worldwide and digital business solutions including the largest data center of Turkey, along with the next generation payment platform of Turkey in the fin-tech sphere.
A dispute between Telia and Çukurova over a share sale to control Turkcell started in 2005 and later snowballed into litigation and led to corporate governance difficulties.
As part of the takeover, Swedish telecom company Telia divested its 24.02 percent indirect stake at Turkcell for $530 million and exited the company.
Telia had a 47.1 percent holding in Turkcell Holding, which owned 51 percent of Turkcell İletişim. Turkish firm Çukurova and LetterOne, founded by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, also owned stakes in the holding company.
Turkcell Holding joint venture is effectively terminated and Çukurova Holding, owned by Turkcell founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, exited its indirect interest in the GSM operator.
TWF, founded in 2016, holds all or part of the shares of 22 Turkish companies including flag carrier Turkish Airlines, telecommunications giant Türk Telekom, state lenders Ziraat Bankası and Halkbank, oil company Turkish Petroleum and stock market Borsa Istanbul.
Hurriyet Daily News