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Tue 15 Nov 2005 04:00 AM

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Oger takes over in Turkey

After winning the bid in July, the Saudi Oger consortium has finalised Turkey's largest privatisation, taking control of a 55% stake in Turk Telekom.

A Saudi Oger Telecom-led consortium has finalised Turkey’s largest privatisation, officially taking control of a 55% stake in former state telco Turk Telekom. The group, which also includes Telecom Italia, won the tender in July with a US$6.55 billion bid, beating second-placed bidder Etisalat to the prize.

Oger Telecom is reported to have deposited 20% of the total bid amount, US$1.3 billion, into the treasury. The remainder is to be paid over the next five years in equal instalments.

Turk Telekom is the world’s 13th largest fixed-line operator with around 19 million subscribers and 61,000 employees. Turk Telecom owns a 40% stake in Turkey’s third mobile operator Avea, in which Telecom Italia already holds a 40% stake also.

Oger Telecom is due to announce future strategies for Turk Telekom and has been working with British Telecom’s consulting arm, Telconsult, which supported Oger’s bid, though will not take an equity stake.

Riyadh-based Saudi Oger also controls the third mobile operator in South Africa, Cell C, and owns a stake in Inquam, an investment vehicle that seeks opportunities to develop and invest in CDMA networks. Through Inquam, Oger has communications interests in Romania and Portugal.

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