The UK’s Privy Council has decided that Turkey’s Cukurova Holding must pay USD1.56 billion to recover a disputed 13.7% stake in mobile giant Turkcell from Russia’s Altimo, a unit of the Alfa Group. Bloomberg reports that the sum must be paid to Alfa within 60 days, with the latter’s spokesperson Evgeny Dumalkin confirming that the fee includes Cukurova’s principal debt of USD1.35 billion and accrued total interest of USD541 million. However, the sum does take into account the USD329 million already paid to Alfa on 1 March. Bloomberg notes though that the figure is less than the USD2.3 billion expected by analysts.
The Privy Council is hearing the case because Cukurova Holding is registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The Council was formerly a supreme court of appeal for the entire British Empire (other than for the United Kingdom itself), and continues to hear appeals from the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories, and a number of Commonwealth member countries.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February this year the Privy Council ruled that while Altimo was entitled to take over the stake – after its Turkish partner defaulted on a USD1.35 billion loan back in 2005 – Cukurova had the right to recover it, if it pays Altimo the outstanding loan, plus interest and costs.