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Tribunal ruling in Turkcell dispute

The long-running dispute between Russian investor Alfa (Altimo) Group and Swedish-Finnish operator TeliaSonera came closer to an end on Friday, when the International Chamber of Commerce ruled that a binding share purchase agreement was concluded between TeliaSonera and Cukurova in 2005.

Back in 2005, TeliaSonera claimed that it had been shouldered out of a deal to buy a stake in Turkish operator Turkcell, from Turkish conglomerate Cukurova. Altimo – at the time known as Alfa – is understood to have offered more cash, causing Cukurova to renege on its deal with TeliaSonera.

Today’s arbitration tribunal ruling calls for Cukurova to sell all the remaining shares in Turkcell to TeliaSonera for a cash consideration of $3.1bn, thereby increasing TeliaSonera’s effective ownership to 64.3 per cent in Turkcell.

But Anders Igel, president and CEO of TeliaSonera, said “We hope to conclude the transaction with Cukurova, but even if the share purchase agreement is binding, we do not yet know if Cukurova is willing to, or able to, proceed with a transfer of the shares to TeliaSonera.”

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