Telecom sale approved

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s Competition Board has given its unconditional approval for the sale of a 55 percent stake in state landline operator Turk Telekom after a tender earlier this month, a board official said yesterday. A venture led by Saudi Oger Telecom and including Telecom Italia made the highest bid of $6.55 billion in the tender, beating its rival by a $50 million margin. The sale is a central element of Turkey’s privatization process, which has been repeatedly blocked in the past by legal challenges and limited investor interest. The official said the board decided yesterday to make a positive report on the tender to the Privatization Administration (OIB). The results of the tender will now be sent to the Cabinet of ministers for approval and the top administrative will rule on the sale.

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