The transfer of a 55% stake in Turk Telekom (TT) to a group of creditor banks via a special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been approved by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, paving the way for the completion of the transaction. In a brief regulatory disclosure, the telco confirmed: ‘According to legal notification from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, the takeover of Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS’s (OTAS) 55% shares in our Company, Turk Telekomunikasyon (Turk Telekom), by an SPV, which the creditor banks of OTAS would be shareholders, has been approved by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.’
TeleGeography notes that OTAS had put up 55% of Turk Telekom’s shares as collateral for a loan of USD4.75 billion in 2013. After two years of negotiations regarding the failed repayments, creditor banks, including Akbank, Garanti and Isbank, applied to the Competition Board to take over the shares in July. The Information & Communication Technologies Authority (Bilgi Teknolojileri ve Iletisim Kurumu, BTK) approved the transfer on 17 August 2018.
OTAS is a Turkish holding company currently owned by Dubai-based consortium Oger Telecom, itself controlled by Lebanon’s Hariri family (47.3% via Saudi Oger), Saudi Telecom Company (STC, 35.0%) and others (17.7%). The Turkish government retains a 25% direct stake in TT plus a ‘golden’ voting share.