Diversified Russian operator the Alfa Group has secured a deal with TeliaSonera to create a US listed company featuring controlling stakes of Turkish mobile operator Turkcell and Russia’s MegaFon.
The agreement comes a month after Alfa dropped a five-year legal battle with Norway's Telenor.
“The purpose is to create a leading international operator, with over 90 million subscribers in Russia, Turkey and the CIS countries, and with well functioning corporate governance,” TeliaSonera said in statement.
Analysts have warned that the deal may face opposition from Turkcell and MegaFon’s minority shareholders due to Alfa’s aggressive reputation.
TeliaSonera has been in a legal tussle with Turkcell’s parent Cukurova since 2005 when the Turkish group pulled out a deal to sell shares in Turkcell to Telia, and opting to form a venture with Alfa.
In August, an arbitration tribunal ordered Cukurova to sell its remaining stake in Turkcell to Telia for €2.08 billion.
The new JV said that the deal would help resolve legal disputes between them and Cukurova.
Alfa and TeliaSonera own a combined 69% in Russsia’s number 3 carrier MegaFon, and 42% of Turkey's largest operator, Turkcell.
If approved the new entity will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange within one to two years.
Alfa's telecoms unit CEO Alexei Reznikovich said “this is more of a framework agreement,” he said, adding that the most significant step with TeliaSonera is the decision to coordinate legal strategy.