12 Dec 2022 17:18

Turkcell assumes 100% ownership in Belarusian telecoms operator BeST

MINSK. Dec 12 (Interfax) - Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator, has assumed 100% ownership of the shares in the Belarusian telecoms operator CJSC Belarusian Telecommunications Network, (brand name life:), CJSC BeST) by purchasing shares owned by the country's State Property Committee.

"A sale and purchase agreement of shares has been signed that involves acquiring a 20% stake in CJSC BeST that belongs to Belarus, and is located in Belarus. A subsidiary of Beltel Telekomunikasion Hizmetleri A.S., which our company wholly owns, already owns the remaining 80% in CJSC BeST," Turkcell said in a statement.

"Our company has acquired a 20% stake in CJSC BeST from the State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus for $1,165.66," according to the statement.

Meantime, an investment agreement has been signed between Turkcell, CJSC BeST and Belarus on developing the telecommunications infrastructure for 2022-2032. "Under this agreement, we are obliged to invest at least $100 million. Moreover, the investment agreement stipulates clauses on paying an additional amount of $100 million over 10 years from at least 50% of the annual net profit of CJSC BeST. If the required indicators are not achieved at the end of the 10-year period, then our company will render a one-time payment to the republic for the amount of the balance of the payment," the Turkish operator explained.

Turkcell assumed ownership of an 80% stake in the Belarusian GSM operator BeST in 2008. The stake was purchased from the State Property Committee of Belarus for $500 million, with payment remitted in three stages at $300 million, $100 million, and $100 million, and then an additional payment of $100 million has been planned after BeST has received annual income.

CJSC Belarusian Telecommunications Network was registered in November 2004, and it obtained a license to provide GSM communication services in March 2005.

According to life:) financial statements for the first half of 2022, revenue totaled 69.1 million Belarusian rubles, a decrease of 8% year-on-year; EBITDA totaled 19.9 million Belarusian rubles, an increase of 6.4%; and net loss reached 16.5 million Belarusian rubles, growth of 3.7%.

The official exchange rate as on December 12, 2022, is 2.4719 Belarusian rubles/$1.