Vodafone to buy Turkish carrier Telsim for $4.5B

Vodafone is set to acquire wireless carrier Telsim for $4.5 billion. Vodafone outbid Kuwait's MTC to win the auction for the state-owned Turkish operator, which claims 9 million subscribers and 25 percent of Turkey's market. Vodafone said that after Germany, Turkey has a larger population than any other European country. With a market penetration of just 53 percent, Vodafone knows an opportunity when it sees one. Telsim's revenues were up 43 percent year-over-year during the first seven months of 2005. Vodafone said it would need to invest an additional $1 billion in upgrading Telsim's network and operations. Analysts say the privatization of Telsim is a move aimed at bolstering the country's chances for EU membership. Talks with the EU, a revaluation of the Turkish lira, and strong economic growth have made the country more attractive to foreign investors.

For more on Vodafone's imminent acquisition of Telsim:
- see this article from the BBC