Turkcell is attempting to acquire a controlling stake in Fintur Holdings from its partner TeliaSonera.
The offer was prompted by TeliaSonera’s decision to exit the Eurasia market. Turkcell already owns 41% of Fintur and has put in a non-binding indicative offer for the remaining 59%. Fintur’s operations include Azercell, Geocell, Kcell and Moldcell – these units respectively offer services in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
Turkcell expressed its interest in the stake swiftly following TeliaSonera’s declaration that it would leave the Eurasia region. TeliaSonera has confirmed that other bidders are interested in acquiring the stake, although the fact that Turkcell already has a holding in Fintur should stand it in good stead.
While TeliaSonera has described its exit from the Eurasia region – which, under the firm’s definition, also includes Nepal, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – as a strategic shift towards European markets, it is likely also motivated by corruption scandals centred in these markets that have led to the resignation of several senior employees.
The company is currently under investigation by the US authorities for alleged illegal activity in Uzbekistan, and this probe may expand to include some of the other markets where the operator was active.