By Bahattin Gönültaş
Scandinavian Telia AB has sold about 1.78 billion Turkish liras ($508 million) worth of stock in Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, in order to focus on its operations in the Nordics and Baltics.
Stockholm-based Telia agreed to sell 153.5 million Turkcell shares -- its 7 percent direct stake -- to institutional investors, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
After the sale, Telia no longer has a direct stake in Turkcell. But the company said Telia’s indirect stake (24 percent, remaining the largest shareholder) in Turkcell through Turkcell Holding remains unchanged.
Telia sold the shares at a price of 11.60 lira each, a 4.4 percent discount from the 12.11 lira closing price at the Istanbul Borsa Istanbul on Monday.
“The sale of the remaining directly owned shares in Turkcell is in line with our strategy to focus on our operations in the Nordics and Baltics," said Johan Dennelind, Telia's president and CEO.
"We will after today's transaction continue to be the largest shareholder in Turkcell and as such will continue our long-term efforts to solve the ownership deadlock and to reinstate normal corporate governance,” Dennelind added.
Turkcell shares were trading at 12.11 unchanged from Monday close as of 12.08 local time, while the benchmark BIST-100 index was down 0.19 percent to 106,314.
In May, Telia sold a separate 7.0 percent stake in Turkcell to institutional investors.