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Turkish Government Seizes Turkcell Shares Over Unpaid Tax Bill

18 мая 2011

Turkish conglomerate, Сukurova Holding has had its shares in the local telco, Turkcell sequestrated after it failed to pay a tax bill of TL 1.25 billion (US$800 million).

Turkcell confirmed that it had received a "precautionary seizure" order from the tax office of shares and rights owned by former chairman Mehmet Emin Karamehmet's Cukurova Holding in Turkcell due to Cukurova's unpaid tax debts.

The move comes at a delicate time for the company as it blocks Cukurova from exercising voting rights over the company during the ongoing shareholder dispute between itself, TeliaSonera and Altimo.

TeliaSonera has an effective 37.1 percent stake as the main shareholder in Turkcell, but it cannot control the company because a special purpose company, Turkcell Holding, holds 51 percent of Turkcell. A total of 53 percent of Turkcell Holding is owned by a Cukurova-Altimo partnership and 47 percent by TeliaSonera.

Cukurova and Altimo each effectively hold about 13 percent in Turkcell.

Presently, Turkcell's board has seven members and the three shareholders each have two representatives on the board of directors plus the nominally independent Chairman.

TeliaSonera has sued the Chairman after it alleged that Cukurova and the Chairman repeatedly blocked calls for two independent directors to be appointed to the company.

The inability of Cukurova to exercise its voting rights could give TeliaSonera the gap it needs to force through the changes it has been seeking in the corporate governance.

Источник: Cellular news

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