Three Turkish banks between them own a stake of over 50 per cent in operator Turk Telekom. Now that stake is up for sale.
The three banks – Is, Garanti and Akbank – aim to sell their combined 55 per cent stake in Turk Telekom. The stake is valued at around $3 billion. The news came in recent statements from all three banks.
The stake is owned by the banks through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), called Levent Restructuring Management, that took control of Turk Telekom just over a year ago, when Turkey’s communications authority approved the transfer of 55 per cent of shares in Turk Telekom, which were owned by Otas, to a joint venture of creditor banks.
Otas, a unit of Dubai-based Oger Telecom, apparently failed to keep up with repayments on a $4.75 billion loan taken out in 2013 to originally acquire the stake, leading to creditors setting up the SPV to take over in 2018. Now the SPV is selling its stake. Akbank has the largest holding in the SPV – 35.6 per cent. Garanti controls 22 per cent and Is Bank has a 11.6 per cent share.
What this means for Türk Telekom is unclear. Growth was reported for 2018 but also a net loss, equivalent to about $716 million, which was blamed on unfavourable foreign exchange conditions.
The Türk Telekom Group provides integrated telecommunication services ranging from PSTN and GSM to wide-band internet.