9 Jul 2010 13:33

Alfa Group regains 13.22% of Turkcell shares

MOSCOW. July 9 (Interfax) - Alfa Finance Holdings (AFH) has bought up 62.2% of the shares in Alfa Telecom Turkey from the Visor Group (Kazakhstan) and Alexander Mamut, thereby regaining control over 13.22% of Turkish communications operator Turkcell.

A Turkcell statement on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website says that Alfa Finance Holdings acquired 32.2% of Alfa Telecom Turkey (ATT) from Nadash International Holdings Inc. (which is affiliated with the Visor Group) for $51.52 million. Another 30% of ATT was bought up for $48.3 million from Henri Services Ltd, which is controlled by Mamut.

ATT owns 49% of Cukurova Telecom Holdings (CTH), which controls 52.91% of Turkcell Holding shares. The latter holds 51% of Turkcell.

Back in March of 2009, Altimo, which manages Alfa Group's telecommunications assets, sold Nadash and Mamut 62.2% of ATT, which effectively cut its stake in Turkcell to 4.99%. The price tag on that deal was $90.2 million.

Altimo thereby met the terms of a 2007 New York court ruling that obligated the holding to sell its stake in Kyivstar or divest itself of its stakes in Turkcell - possessor of Ukraine's third largest cellular operator Astelit - and Ukrainian High Technologies that exceed 5%, since such investments contradict a Kyivstar shareholders agreement.

Turkcell is Turkey's largest mobile operator with a more than 50% market share. The company is also involved with cellular operators in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Northern Cyprus, and Ukraine. It turned 417.6 million Turkish lira ($276.3 million) in Q1 net profits this year, and sales revenues of 2.249 billion lira ($1.488 billion). The company has 62 million cellphone subscribers.