Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Turkey's biggest mobile operator Turkcell is planning to proceed with its effort to buy the stake owned by TeliaSonera AB in Fintur Holdings, Bloomberg reported Feb. 9.
Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS has made a non-binding bid for the 58.55 percent stake in Fintur Holdings that it doesn't own and will follow with another offer after completing due diligence, Chief Executive Officer Kaan Terzioglu said Feb. 9.
Turkcell now owns 41.45 percent of Fintur, which operates in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova. Terzioglu didn't give further details.
"We are constantly reviewing our asset portfolio," Terzioglu said after he signed a license agreement with Turkey's telecommunications regulator for 4.5G high-speed mobile Internet services.
Turkcell hired Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc to advise on the Fintur stake, two people with knowledge of the matter said in November 2015. At the time, Pareto Securities valued TeliaSonera's Fintur stake at about $430 million.
TeliaSonera, the largest Swedish phone carrier, is Turkcell's biggest shareholder with a 38 percent stake. Other Turkcell investors include Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's investment company and Cukurova Holding AS.
TeliaSonera announced the reduction of its presence in the Eurasia region (Azerbaijan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan) in September 2015.
It intends to fully leave the Eurasian region. As part of its new strategy, TeliaSonera will concentrate on the activity in Europe, particularly in Sweden.
Fintur Holdings BV, in which TeliaSonera owns 58.55 percent, has a share in Azerbaijan's Azercell Telecom.
Azercell Telecom LLC was founded in 1996 and since the first years sustains a leading position on the market. Azercell introduced number of technological innovations in Azerbaijan: GSM technology, advance payment mobile services, GPRS/EDGE, 24/7 Customer Care, M2M, MobilBank, full-time operating Azercell Express offices, mobile e-service "ASAN imza" (ASAN signature) and others. With 48.12 percent share of Azerbaijan's mobile market Azercell's network covers 99.8 percent of the country's population.
Currently, the number of Azercell's subscribers reached 4.5 million people. In 2011 Azercell deployed 3G and in 2012 the fourth generation network - LTE in Azerbaijan. The Company is the leader of Azerbaijan's mobile communication industry and the biggest investor in the non-oil sector.