Telia is continuing its withdrawal from the Eurasia region, announcing that it has begun preparations to sell off some of its holding in Turkish operator Turkcell.
The Scandinavian group has a 38% stake in Turkcell, and is offering around 150 million shares to institutional investors via its subsidiary Sonera. These shares constitute around 6.8% of its issued share capital. Currently Telia has a direct holding of 14% in Turkcell, along with an indirect holding of 24%. If all of the shares that the group is offering are sold, its direct holding will be almost halved to 7.2%.
Telia issued a statement noting that its ““proposed sale of a portion of Telia Company’s shareholding in Turkcell is consistent with the strategy to focus on operations in the Nordics and Baltics.” However, the group also noted that there was no “present intention regarding any sale of the shares that represent Telia Company’s indirect interest in Turkcell”.
In 2015, Telia announced that it was shifting its focus to these regions and would gradually divest its operations in the Eurasia region. Specifically, the first seven markets that it lined up for an exit were Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Nepal, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Telia recently succeeded in selling its Tajik operations to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, despite the fact that the country’s authorities missed an initial approval deadline.
The group will remain the largest shareholder in Turkcell after the proposed deal is completed, which is currently expected for 8th May.