New victory for Turkish media group

TurkcellTurkey’s Cukurova Group has received another boost in its attempt to regain control of Turkcell.

This follows a ruling by the UK Privy Council giving Cukurova more than the original 60 days to pay Russia’s Alfa Group $1.56 billion (€1.18 billion) for a 13.8% stake in Turkcell, Turkey’s leading mobile company.

The Council also suspended an interest of 8% interest over the Libor rate on the stake and said the parties could apply for a cut-off date for the payment anytime after December 1 this year. Alfa Group originally took control of Turkcell when Cukurova defaulted on a loan of $1.35 billion.

However, Cukurova still finds itself in financial difficulties and in May had a number of its own assets seized by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) for failing to control its debts.

These include the DTH platform Digitürk, which has recently attracted interest from a number of prospective buyers including Dogan Media Group’s rival DTH platform D-Smart.

Just last week, Türk Telekom made a non-binding offer for a 53% stake in the platform.

Besides being Turkey’s leading mobile operator, Turkcell also has a presence in its TV industry.