Board tiff may delay Turkcell’s meeting

Board tiff may delay Turkcell’s meeting

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Board tiff may delay Turkcell’s meeting

Turkcell’s General Manager Süreyya Ciliv is seen this file photo. AA photo

A shareholder meeting of Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell may not take place this week as scheduled because two major shareholders - Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russia’s Alfa Group, and Çukurova - failed to settle a dispute over board composition and other issues.

Altimo and Çukurova’s failure to agree and the possible delay of the general assembly meeting on June 29 further complicates efforts to break a deadlock between major Turkcell shareholders over control of the company.

“We failed to agree with the Çukurova Group over independent board members, board structure and dividend payment issues,” Altimo vice president Mustafa Kiral told reporters on Tuesday, adding that major Turkcell shareholder Turkcell Holding would as a result not be represented at Turkcell’s general meeting.

Turkcell was warned by Turkish financial regulator the Capital Markets Board last week over its failure to comply with new rules raising the number of independent members required on boards to at least three.

Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera, another of Turkcell’s major shareholders, also said Turkcell’s general assembly meeting might be delayed after the failure of Altimo and Çukurova to agree on fundamental issues.

Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera has the largest direct and indirect stake in Turkcell, with a 37 percent share, while Altimo has an indirect stake of 13.22 percent.

Turkish group Çukurova has a 14 percent stake, but carries controlling rights because of a complicated shareholder and management structure.

TeliaSonera and Altimo are locked in legal battles to wrest control of Turkcell from Çukurova, chaired by Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, Turkcell failed to hold key votes on board changes at an extraordinary general meeting in October.