Telecom Italia not to up interest in Turk Telekom

MILAN (Reuters) – Telecom Italia does not intend to increase its stake in a consortium that has made the highest bid for control of Turk Telekom, the chairman of the Italian operator said yesterday. «Our position is the one we have,» Marco Tronchetti Provera told reporters when asked about a Turkish newspaper report that Telecom Italia might take a bigger stake. Telecom Italia has said it will be a minority partner in the consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Oger Telecom, which made a bid of $6.55 billion for a 55 percent stake in Turk Telekom being sold by the Turkish government. Telecom Italia has said it will make an investment of $200 million in Turk Telekom. However, the outcome of the sale is in doubt after Turkey’s communications minister was quoted as saying last week the stake might be sold to a group led by Emirates Telecommunications, which offered to pay nearly the same amount in one go. The Italian operator also owns 40 percent of mobile operator joint venture Avea, and Turk Telekom has an identical stake.

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