Qatar’s Ooredoo has confirmed that it has held discussions over the possibility of acquiring a stake in Turkey’s Turk Telekom, but noted that no tangible progress has been made on the matter.
The operating group issued a statement to the Qatar Stock Exchange explaining that “there were some initial discussions [but] these did not progress to the negotiation stage”. In November, Ooredoo submitted a bid for Ojer Telekomunikasyon (Otas), which is a subsidiary of Turk Telekom’s majority owner Oger Telecom.
Saudi Telecom owns a 35% stake in Oger, which itself holds 55% of Turk Telekom. Ooredoo faces competition from the Saudi firm, which is reportedly planning to acquire Otas for $750 million. In addition, it has stated that it will restructure $4 billion worth of Otas’s debt. Otas borrowed $4.75B from a consortium of local and international banks in 2013, and since September 2016 has missed three payments.
Turk Telekom has a market share of around 25% according to the GSMA, trailing market leader Turkcell’s 44% and number two Vodafone’s 31%. If acquired by Ooredoo, it would likely expand overseas via further acquisitions.