June 16, 2020 / 3:26 PM / a month ago

Turkish fund in talks with Sweden's Telia to buy Turkcell stake

ISTANBUL/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Turkey’s Wealth Fund is in advanced talks to buy a $530 million stake in telecom company Turkcell (TCELL.IS) that is owned by Telia (TELIA.ST), the Swedish telecom company said on Tuesday.

Telia said it owns 47.1% of Turkcell Holding, a holding company owned by Cukurova, LetterOne and Telia. The holding company owns 51% of Turkcell.

“Negotiations are still ongoing and are in an advanced stage, but no agreement has yet been reached,” Telia said in the statement.

Turkcell’s shares were up 2.08% at Tuesday’s close. Telia shares were up 5.5% before trading in the stock was suspended, after Bloomberg HT reported news of the deal earlier on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Turkcell’s ownership has long been the subject of a dispute between its main shareholders.

Stefan Gauffin, an analyst at DNB Markets said it would be positive for Telia if the deal went ahead. “It’s a tricky stake to sell because you need to end the deadlock among the shareholders,” he added.

Turkcell and the wealth fund were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun in Istanbul, Colm Fulton and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Edmund Blair and Jane Merriman

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