Banks hire Morgan Stanley to sell Turk Telekom stake

23 Sep 2019

A group of Turkish banks have hired Morgan Stanley as financial adviser to sell a 55% stake in fixed and mobile operator Turk Telekom (TT), Bloomberg reported. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that a consortium of 29 banks led by Akbank, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi (Garanti Bank) and Turkiye Is Bankasi (Isbank) acquired the TT stake from Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS (OTAS), the local holding company of Dubai-based consortium Oger Telecom, in exchange for cancelling debts in December 2018, with the Turkish Treasury retaining a 25% TT stake plus special veto power via one ‘golden share’. 5% of the company is held by the Turkish Wealth Fund and the remaining 15% is in free float on the Borsa Istanbul (BIST).

The creditor banks own the 55% TT share via special purpose vehicle (SPV) Levent Yapilandirma Yonetimi (Levent Configuration Management). Akbank, Garanti Bank and Isbank own 35.6%, 22.1% and 11.6% of the SPV respectively, with the other 30.7% split between 26 other banks. In statements to the BIST, the leading banks stated the intention to sell the entirety of the SPV or the shares that it holds. Turkish brokerages Ak Investment, Garanti Securities and Is Investment are acting as local advisers.

Having borrowed USD4.75 billion in 2013, TT’s previous majority owner OTAS – handicapped by Turkish currency depreciation – defaulted on payments from September 2016 onwards. Upon completing the takeover deal in December 2018 the creditor banks stated a goal to transfer the TT shares to a ‘competent’ investor.

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