(Adds TeliaSonera comment, background)
ISTANBUL/STOCKHOLM, June 24 Turkish mobile
operator Turkcell again failed to hold an annual
general meeting on Monday due to a long-running dispute between
major shareholders, prompting a rebuke from its biggest owner.
Turkcell had already cancelled one meeting in May because a
dispute between Turkey's Cukurova and Russia's Altimo Group
stopped them from appointing a representative for a joint
Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera, Turkcell's
biggest shareholder with 38 percent, lashed out at the failure
to hold the meeting, saying it was very disappointed and that a
solution to the ownership disputes was long overdue.
"We are not happy with the current structure, where a
minority shareholder can block majority decision due to a
complex holding company structure," Teliasonera Chief Executive
Per-Arne Blomquist said in a statement.
The deadlock has left Turkey's biggest mobile operator
unable to agree the composition of its board, preventing the
approval of accounts and distribution of dividends as well as
the pursuing of a coherent growth strategy.
The row centres on Cukurova Holding's 13.8 percent stake in
Turkcell, which is a controlling stake due to the structure of
its shareholders. Altimo and Cukurova share ownership of the
holding company behind the listed Turkcell business.
Altimo has 13.2 percent in Turkcell which it seized from
Cukurova after the latter defaulted on a loan eight years ago.
Following a warning last month from the Turkish government
that it may "intervene" unless shareholders agree on the make-up
of the board, TeliaSonera on Monday urged the market watchdog
CMB to come up with a fair solution.
"I would like to emphasise that this is a conflict between
private companies, and should be dealt with as such and through
legal procedures," Blomquist said.
"Therefore, any attempts to "nationalise" the company, by
excluding TeliaSonera from the board and appointing a board
which solely consists of CMB appointed members, are
unacceptable," he said.
Teliasonera is involved in a separate battle with Cukurova,
having agreed to buy the disputed stake before Cukurova backed
out and refused to pay court-imposed damages.
Turkcell's shares were down 3.2 percent at 1040 GMT.
(Writing by Ece Toksabay and Anna Ringstrom; Editing by