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Garanti facing off for Turk Telekom stake

Garanti facing off for Turk Telekom stake

The chief executive of Turkey’s Garanti Bank has stated that several parties have expressed interest in obtaining a stake in Turk Telekom.

Garanti, led by Ali Fuat Erbil, faces competition from two other investors in its efforts to acquire a 55% holding in the operator. The executive stated that he expected the situation to “become clear” later this year.

Turk Telekom’s owner Otas has fallen behind on loan payments for the past 18 months, having borrowed a total of $4.7 billion from 29 different creditors. Otas owes Garanti Bank $1 billion, as well as owing $1.5 billion to Adbank and $500 million to Is Bank.

Ooredoo is one of the companies with a confirmed interest in obtaining a Turk Telekom holding, having discussed an acquisition earlier this year while stopping short of making a binding offer. Saudi Telecom has also been mooted as it already holds a 35% stake in Otas’ parent firm Oger.

At the end of 2017, Turk Telekom had 19.6 million mobile connections. It offers fixed and mobile services, with 13.7 million fixed access lines and 9.7 million broadband lines.

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