Battle for control of Turkcell hots up

30 Oct 2003

The fight for overall control of Turkey’s largest mobile operator Turkcell is hotting up following news that its largest shareholder the Cukurova Group is planning to dismantle the board veto held by second largest shareholder TeliaSonera. According to the Financial Times, Cukurova officials hope to alter the board’s make-up to give its representatives a clearer majority, allowing it to actively pursue new acquisition targets without approval from the Nordic company. Turkcell had previously been seen as a glowing example of cooperation between a Turkish company and foreign investors. However, relations soured after both sides failed to agree on buying a majority stake in loss-making digital TV company Digiturk. Cukurova owns 42% of Turkcell while TeliaSonera has 37%.