Telia Company completes exit from Turkey

Allison Kirkby Telia badge.jpg

Telia Company has agreed to sell its 47.1% stake in Turkcell Holding, which owns 51% in Turkcell, to the state-owned Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF), for US$530 million.

The transaction will include, subject to closing, a full and global settlement of all shareholder disputes and litigations connected to Turkcell and Turkcell Holding.

Telia Company confirmed on 17 June, that it was in advanced talks with the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF) about a “potential divestment of its indirect stake” in Turkcell.

The company later said: “Telia Company agreed to divest its 47.1% holding in Turkcell Holding to Turkey Wealth Fund, the strategic investment arm of Republic of Turkey, and thereby completes the exit from Turkey.”

Telia company reported total dividends and net divestment proceeds of approximately SEK 28 billion after tax over the last 20 years, close to discounted 5% return per year.

Turkcell Holding is the only NYSE-listed company in Turkey.

Allison Kirkby, president and CEO of Telia Company, said: “Today we announce the final piece of the Turkish exit puzzle – the divestment of Telia Company’s stake in Turkcell Holding. Over the past few years, our focus has been our core Nordic and Baltic markets. Through this divestment, we unwind a long-lasting legal deadlock; we reduce risk, improve leverage and increase liquidity which will generate better shareholder returns in our core markets.

“Turkcell has grown into a strong company which has generated substantial returns for its owners”.

Calculating the value of its investment Telia Company said it expected to receive $530 million, approximately SEK 5 billion, for its ownership in Turkcell Holding. With this final divestment of Telia Company’s interest in Turkey, the total investments in Turkcell amounting to approximately SEK 13 billion have generated total dividends and net divestment proceeds of approximately SEK 28 billion after tax over the last 20 years.

“We have received approximately SEK 15 billion in net proceeds since 2002, i.e. close to discounted 5% return per year.”

In 2019 Telia sold its direct stake in Turkcell as part of a strategy to focus on the Baltics and Nordics. At that point, Telia’s indirect stake in Turkcell through Turkcell Holding remained unchanged.