Turkish firm Cukurova to sell 3.5 pct Turkcell stake

Turkey's Cukurova is selling 3.5 percent of Turkcell , it said on Wednesday, sending the cellphone firm's stock sharply lower.

Turkish firm Cukurova to sell 3.5 pct Turkcell stake
Turkey's Cukurova is selling 3.5 percent of Turkcell , it said on Wednesday, sending the cellphone firm's stock sharply lower.

At 0840 GMT, shares in Turkcell were down 7.0 percent at 8.60 lira, underperforming a 1.5 percent fall in the main market index .

Cukurova, a conglomerate with an overall 21 percent effective stake in Turkcell, said in a statement its unit Cukurova Investments had launched an accelerated book building process among foreign investors to sell 76 million shares.

At Tuesday's closing price, the stake would be worth 703 million lira ($545 million).

Turkcell's other shareholders are Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera , with a 37 percent stake, and Russian private equity firm Altimo.

TeliaSonera has said it wants to acquire a controlling stake in Turkcell -- which it was thwarted from doing when Cukurova sold a stake to Altimo in 2005 -- but it declined to comment on Wednesday on whether it had tried to buy the shares now on sale.

"We are analysing the offer closely. What I can say now is that this, in any case, would not give us a controlling position in Turkcell," head of media relations Ola Kallemur said.

In a separate statement to the stock market on Wednesday, Turkish bank Yapi Kredi -- formerly owned by Cukurova -- said it had accepted an offer from the firm to pay off early $480 million in debt. After the payment, Cukurova would still owe Yapi Kredi $257.86 million.

(Additional reporting by Charlotte Nilsson).

Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Temmuz 2007, 18:52
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