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Turkcell EGM to Be Postponed Amid Shareholders' Disagreement

By Sven Grundberg STOCKHOLM--Swedish telecommunications company TeliaSonera AB (TLSN.SK) said Tuesday the extraordinary general meeting of its affiliate Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TKC) has been postponed. TeliaSonera spokeswoman Ceclilia Edstrom said the postponement was caused by a disagreement between shareholders Altimo, the telecommunications arm of Russian industrial conglomerate Alfa Group, and Cukurova, the conglomerate controlled by controversial Turkish businessman Mehmet Karamehmet. The EGM had been scheduled for June 29. Ms. Edstrom added the disagreement relates to who is going to represent ‚ÄčTurkcell Holding A.S.--Turkcell's single largest shareholder, which is jointly owned by TeliaSonera, Altimo and Cukurova--at the meeting. TeliaSonera has for several years struggled to gain control over Turkcell, in which it has a 38% stake both directly through holding shares on the Turkish stock market and indirectly through its ownership in Turkcell Holding. The ownership conflict in Turkcell began when TeliaSonera attempted and failed in 2005 to purchase the ownership stake held by Turkcell's founder, the controversial Turkish businessman Mehmet Karamehmet and his Cukurova conglomerate. Turkcell's board has six board members in addition to its chairman, who has the authority to block decisions. TeliaSonera wants to increase number of independent board members. The Swedish carrier hopes that it will be able to replace Turkcell Chairman Colin Williams, who it says isn't acting as an independent board member, and wrestle control of Turkcell from Cukurova together with Altimo. Write to Sven Grundberg at [email protected]

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