The Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) will acquire 55% of the operator for around $1.65 billion
The TWF was established back in 2016 with the stated goal of increasing the value of state-owned assets in its portfolio. By 2020, it had acquired public shares in 22 companies, including airlines, banks, oil and gas, and satellite companies. At the end of September 2022, the TWF acquired a 26.2% in Turkish mobile player Turkcell.
Now, the company is expanding its holdings in the country’s telecoms sector, buying a majority state in formerly state-owned Turk Telekom for roughly $1.65 billion.
"As (Turkey’s Wealth Fund), we believe that we will add extra value to telecommunication sector by contributing in the digitalisation process, while focusing on efforts to further strengthen the technological infrastructure of our country," said CEO Salim Arda Ermut.
Turk Telekom’s ownership has been in crisis for some time. In 2013, OTAS, a unit of Dubai-based Oger Telecom, had taken a $4.75 billion loan to acquire a 55% stake in the business, but repeatedly defaulted.
In 2018, , against the backdrop of the Turkish lira crash which left Turk Telekom floundering in billions of dollars of debt, a combination of Turkish and international creditor banks formed a special purpose vehicle to take control of the business.
This banking consortium has been trying to sell its stake in the business since at least 2019.
As always, the share purchase is subject to regulatory approval.