Conflict Management 101
The Turkish telecommunications industry is one of the few that can create global innovations. The rate of innovation is especially high in banking applications and the infotainment business. Due to this fact and the rate in which the Turkish youth uses mobile telecommunications, all three mobile operators drew lots of global attention since the day they were founded.
Telsim, which was sold to Vodafone, created lots of new applications with their R&D firm Oxygen. The transition to the new management hasn’t been easy, and Vodafone struggled to keep up its technological edge. Avea had lots of other obstacles to overcome before reaching today.
In those hard times Turkcell created and widened the gap between the competition. It outshined the two with technological improvements and innovations. Turkcell was very successful in turning it into revenue as well. This lead in technology and revenue resulted in Turkcell’s shares to be sold to new investors by Mehmet Emim Karamehmet.
Sweden’s Telia Sonera and Russian Alfa paid billions to acquire the same shares. Things went downhill from that point because a long-lasting dispute arose between the shareholders, who apparently owned the same shares. The dispute affected the company’s ability to sustain the lead and invest in new markets. However, recent news proves that if the partners can cooperate they can still think about the future.
According to Bloomberg, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL), Turkey’s biggest mobile phone operator, will bid to acquire a 94 percent stake in Bulgarian Telecommunications Company AD, known as Vivacom.
The board of the Istanbul-based company, owned by TeliaSonera AB (TLSN), Russia’s Altimo and Cukurova Holding AS of Turkey, decided to make an offer, Turkcell said today in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB).
Other contenders in the auction to sell Vivacom include VTB Capital, the investment banking unit of Russia’s second- biggest state-run lender VTB Bank OJSC (VTBR), together with Sofia-based Corporate Commercial Bank AD (6C9), Atanas Bostandjiev, chief executive officer of VTB Capital Plc, said March 1.
Three binding bids have already been submitted, Bulgarian newspaper Capital reported last month without specifying the amounts of the offers. The other bidders include Icelandic billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson, who controlled Vivacom (5BT) from 2005 to 2007 and has bid with Panos Germanos, who founded the Greek phone-services retailer Germanos SA. Another bidder is Pamplona Capital Management LLP, a London-based private equity firm, according to the newspaper.
The Turkish technology firms are good at many things, but conflict management is not one of them. However, I believe that when they will master the fine art of cooperating even when in dispute and work as a team they will conquer more markets.