ISTANBUL Feb 5 The deadline for Turkey's
Cukurova Group to pay $1.6 billion needed to recover a disputed
controlling stake in Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator
Turkcell has been pushed back, a British court said
The Privy Council said that the deadline would be postponed
until 60 days after a ruling in a separate case being heard by
the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, related to a row between
Turkcell's major shareholders.
Both cases revolve around a dispute over a 13.8 percent
share in Turkcell, which had been held by Cukurova and is a
controlling stake due to the company's ownership structure.
Russia's Altimo, an arm of oligarch Mikhail Fridman's Alfa
Group, appropriated the stake when Cukurova defaulted on a $1.35
Britain's Privy Council ruled last July that Cukurova, owned
by one of Turkey's richest men, Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, must pay
around $1.6 billion - a sum which includes interest payments -
to Altimo within 60 days if it wants to recover the stake.
It gave an initial extension later that month to allow for
the resolution of the U.S. case, which could prevent Cukurova
from putting up the Turkcell stake as collateral in any new
loan. That U.S. case remains unresolved.
Turkcell has been unable to agree the make-up of its board
or pay dividends because of the dispute.
Cukurova is registered in the British Virgin Islands, which
is why the case is being dealt with by Britain's Privy Council,
the final court of appeal for some countries in the
Commonwealth, a grouping of countries which are mostly former
territories of the British Empire.