Qatar eyes acquiring local Türk Telekom

Qatar eyes acquiring local Türk Telekom

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Qatar eyes acquiring local Türk Telekom

Türk Telekom General Manager Gökhan Bozkurt is seen during a press meeting. REUTERS photo

Türk Telekom, Turkey’s leading telecommunications group, may be controlled by Qatar, if its approach to buy Oger Telecom’s stake in the Turkish company ends in success.

Eager to boost its footprint in Turkey, Qatar has made a takeover approach on the majority owner of Oger Telecom, which owns a controlling stake in Türk Telekom, Reuters reported yesterday, citing “sources familiar with the matter.”

According to the report, Qatar has directly approached Saudi Oger - owned by the family of late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri - for its Türk Telekom stake, the sources said. Oger Telecom controls 55 percent of Türk Telekom. The Turkish Treasury has a 30 percent stake, while 15 percent is being publicly traded. The company has a market capitalization of $15.6 billion.

“By acquiring the Oger Telecom stake, Qatar would also get Türk Telekom and its mobile unit Avea, as well as South African operator Cell C in which Oger holds a 75 percent stake,” Reuters said, adding that the Türk Telekom stake alone would be worth at least $8.6 billion.

A potential hurdle is the 35 percent stake of Saudi Telecom in position in Oger Telecom, Reuters said, as the Saudi firm has the right of first refusal. “There is no guarantee that the approach will lead to a deal given the heightened execution risk due to market volatility,” Reuters quoted a source as saying.