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TeliaSonera to double stake in Turkcell to 64%

|Includes:Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (TKC), TLSNF

TeliaSonera has won a court case ordering Turkish holding company Cukurova to transfer all its remaining shares in Turkcell Holdings to TeliaSonera for US$3.1 billion. Turkcell Holdings controls Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator. In a statement, the Swedish firm said it now intends to enforce the award against Cukurova, and will demand damages of US$1.8 billion - a value set by the arbitration tribunal - if the shares are not delivered.

"TeliaSonera does not yet know if Cukurova is willing to, or able to, proceed with a transfer of the shares to TeliaSonera, but a quick resolution of the ownership dispute is not to be expected," TeliaSonera said in a statement. "All in all, this issue is not expected to be resolved anytime soon. We do not expect any impact on Turkcell operations and decision making mechanism during the near future," the Istanbul-based Oyak Yatirim brokerage said in a note, reports Reuters. "On the other hand, such problems at the ownership level might have a negative impact in the longer term if tensions between shareholders intensify."

The dispute goes back to an agreement drawn-up in March 2005, in which Cukurova agreed to sell all the remaining shares in Turkcell Holding to TeliaSonera for a cash consideration of US$3.1 billion, which would have increased TeliaSonera's effective ownership in Turkcell to 64.3 percent from 37.3 percent currently. However, Cukurova withdrew from the transaction, prompting the most recent court action.

According to Wireless Intelligence data, Turkcell leads the Turkish market with 36.6 million mobile connections in 2Q09, a 57 percent market share. Yesterday, the operator reported a 42 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to US$245.8 million, blaming a weak local currency and provisions set aside for litigation. Sales reached US$1.398 billion, ahead of analyst expectations

this is upbeat as far as I am concerned, as TeliaSonera has a great managment team & expertise in all the areas TKC need to become the operator in the Black Sea region

Stocks: TKC, TLSNF