: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Russia`s VTB says agrees with Alfa on Turkcell joint investment

Russian bank VTB said on Monday it had reached an agreement with Alfa Group about a joint investment in Turkey`s top mobile operator Turkcell, according to Reuters.

The announcement comes ahead of a mid-November deadline for Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman and Turkcell`s founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet to resolve a dispute over control of the Turkish company, as reported by Reuters.

Alfa, part of Fridman`s business empire, has been locked in a tussle over Turkcell that stretches back almost a decade with equity partner Cukurova, which is run by Karamehmet.

In July, a London tribunal dismissed claims against Fridman and required Cukurova to choose within 60 days either to buy Fridman`s shares in Turkcell for $2.7 billion or sell its own stake to Fridman for $2.8 billion.

In September, the tribunal pushed backed the deadline to 60 days from Sept. 19.

Fridman indirectly holds 13.2% of Turkcell while Karamehmet indirectly holds 13.8%. Swedish phone carrier Telia Company owns 37%.

VTB said in a statement the agreement reflected the intention of VTB and Alfa to invest in Turkcell ”in relation to the possible increase of Alfa Group`s stake in the operator”.

The bank said in its statement such a deal would reflect its desire to diversify its investment and loan portfolios.

As UNIAN reported earlier, in July 2015 Turkcell company completed the acquisition of a 44.96% stake owned by Rinat Akhmetov`s financial-industrial group SCM in Euroasia Telecommunications Holding BV (Netherlands), which owns one of the largest Ukrainian mobile operators ”Astelit” (TM Life).


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