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Ex-MTN CEO Denies Bribery Allegations Against Company

JOHANNESBURG -(Dow Jones)- A former chief executive of South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. (MTNOY, MTN.JO) Sunday denied allegations that the telecommunications company bribed officials to get access to a license in Iran. Turkey's largest mobile-phone operator last week filed suit against MTN, seeking $4.2 billion in damages related to losing out to MTN for the license to operate in Iran. In a suit filed in the U.S., Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TKC, TCELL.IS) said MTN made improper payments to an Iranian and to a South African government official between 2004 and 2005 to enable the company to secure a license to operate in Iran. Phuthuma Nhleko, former CEO of MTN, said Sunday that Turkcell's claims are "far-fetched." "During my tenure as group CEO of MTN no bribes were authorized or paid by the MTN Group to any South African or Iranian government officials to secure the mobile license in Iran," Nhleko said. MTN holds a 49% stake in Irancell, Iran's No. 2 mobile-phone operator. Turkcell lost out to MTN in 2005 in securing the license, the second to be tendered in Iran. Around 21% of MTN's subscribers are in Iran. Nhleko's denial of fault follows MTN's current management statement last week that it believes the company is innocent. Turkcell's renewed accusations against MTN come as the U.S. is stepping up pressure against foreign companies operating in Iran as a way to cut off revenue to the Iranian regime to stop what it says is nuclear weapon development, a claim Iran denies. MTN this year appointed an external committee to investigate Turkcell's allegations. MTN recently said talks with Turkcell to resolve the issue broke down and that Turkcell hadn't accepted an offer to participate in the investigation. -By Devon Maylie, Dow Jones Newswires; +27 11 783 7848; devon.maylie@dowjones.com

Stock News for Turkcell Ilet (TKC)
DateTimeHeadline
05/15/201516:51:20Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/08/201512:38:00Turkcell Introduces a Multi-Sensory Smartphone Experience with...
04/30/201511:51:47Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
04/30/201504:22:09Turkcell Profit Hit By Forex Losses in Belarus, Ukraine
04/29/201514:29:00Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri First Quarter 2015 Results
04/20/201509:00:00Building on its 4G leadership, Turkcell Tests Enriched VoLTE
04/13/201512:51:07Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
04/09/201510:02:34Turkcell: Shareholder Dispute Makes Investors Underappreciate...
04/06/201509:08:00Turkeyâs Southeastern Gem Gaziantep Gets Connected with Turkcell, J...
04/06/201505:15:57Fridman group to invest $16B in struggling tech and telecom companies
04/02/201509:36:03Sparring Over Turkcell Ownership Set to Continue
04/02/201506:53:53Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
03/31/201515:55:39Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
03/27/201506:57:36Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
03/26/201517:37:33Turkcell Holds First Shareholder Meeting Since 2011, Approves...
03/26/201516:54:10Turkcell Holds First Shareholder Meeting Since 2011, Approves...
03/25/201517:21:47Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
03/25/201513:22:57Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
03/16/201505:04:03Old Tricks: Benjamin Graham Still Works
03/11/201514:53:55Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)

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