A group of Turkish banks led by Akbank, Garanti Bank and Isbank have applied to the Competition Authority to take over the majority of shares in fixed and mobile operator Turk Telekom (TT) via a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Daily Sabah reports. The move was expected as part of a debt restructuring deal which has received state backing. In January the private banking trio – three of the largest creditors of TT’s parent company Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS (OTAS) – agreed on a plan to take over OTAS’ 55% stake in the telco. The plan sees OTAS’ ownership being sliced up between a group of 29 creditor banks via the SPV, with a view to eventually reselling the majority TT stake.
OTAS is a Turkish holding company currently owned by Dubai-based consortium Oger Telecom, itself controlled by Lebanon’s Hariri family (47.3% via Saudi Oger), Saudi Telecom Company (STC, 35.0%) and others (17.7%). The Turkish government retains a 25% direct stake in TT plus a ‘golden’ voting share.