TeliaSonera wins legal battle for control of Turkcell

TeliaSonera has secured a legal victory in a Turkish arbitration court which  forced Turkish holding company, Cukurova to sell its stake in Turkcell Holding to the carrier for €2.1 billion.

The transaction would give TeliaSonera a majority stake in Turkey’s dominant mobile operator, but the deal remains in question due to Cukurova’s lack of compliance and complications of ownership involving Russia's Alfa Group.

Should Cukurova defy the court orders, TeliaSonera has warned that it will seek damages  to the tune of €1.26 billion.

"TeliaSonera does not yet know if Cukurova is willing to, or able to, proceed with a transfer of the shares to TeliaSonera, but a quick resolution of the ownership dispute is not to be expected", the carrier said in a statement on Friday.

TeliaSonera currently holds  37% of the Turkish operator while Cukurova owns around 27% including shares owned via a venture with Alfa Group.

The dispute between TeliaSonera and Cukurova has been raging since 2005, when Cukurova opted out a deal that would have given TeliaSonera control of Turkcell, in favor of a tie- up with the Alfa Group.

Alfa is also a stakeholder in Russian operator Megafon, in which Telia also has a large stake.