Turkish banks apply to competition board to take over 55 percent of Türk Telekom

Turkish banks apply to competition board to take over 55 percent of Türk Telekom

ISTANBUL
Turkish banks apply to competition board to take over 55 percent of Türk Telekom

Turkey’s Akbank, Garanti and İş Bank have applied to the competition authority to take over 55 percent of Türk Telekom after Oger Telecom failed to make three payments on a $4.75 billion loan it secured to acquire a stake in the Turkish fixed-line operator, the competition authority has said.

The lenders will buy the stakes through a joint venture company, Reuters reported on July 5.

After the announcement was made, Türk Telekom’s shares rose more than 6 percent to 5.43 Turkish Liras per share.

In May, sources told Reuters that the creditor banks were set to take a majority control of the company as part of a debt restructuring.

Back in 2013, Otaş, a company that was set up by Oger Telecom to acquire a 55 percent stake in Türk Telekom in 2005, took on a $4.7 billion syndicated loan from 29 banks.

Akbank has the largest share in the loan with $1.5 billion, followed by Garanti Bank with some $1 billion and İş Bank with $500 million.

The remaining $1.7 billion is owed to the remaining 26 banks.

Otaş was supposed to repay the debt in $290 million installments starting from 2016, but it failed to do so. Garanti Bank reclassified its debt as “closely watched” as of the end of 2017, keeping the troubled loan in its books after the company repeatedly failed to make payments.

İş Bank also classified the company’s loan as “closely watched” at the end of last year, sources told daily Hürriyet early in 2018.

Akbank also said it classified its loan to the company as “closely watched” in a stock exchange filing early in January.

Turkish banks, Turk Telekom, Oger Telecom