Turkish lender İşbank to sell stake in mobile operator
HÜRRİYET PhotoTurkish lender Işbank has begun negotiations for the sale of its 7.44 percent stake in mobile operator Avea, the bank said in a filing to the stock exchange on April 22.
“Our head office has been authorized to initiate the negotiations for a block sale of our bank’s shares in Avea, which represent 7.44 percent of the total shares for the nominal value of 610 million Turkish Liras [$225 million], with Turk Telekom and other investors who might be interested in the company,” Işbank said in a statement.
Saudi-owned Turk Telekom, the local telecommunications giant, offered earlier to buy Avea’s remaining 10 percent stake it doesn’t already own, worth $305 million, a deal which would allow it to avoid having to float the struggling wireless firm.
The price for the 10 percent is marked in the Işbank filing to the bourse.
According to a 2006 shareholder agreement, Işbank retains the right to demand an initial public offering this year, a floatation that would likely be hampered by Avea’s weak earnings, Reuters reported, depending on analysts.
“Even if Avea is advancing towards profitability, right now it is still not profitable,” said Toygun Onaran, an analyst at TEB Invest. “It is logical for Işbank to want to offload the shares.”