Nokia in deal with Telsim

HELSINKI (AP) – Nokia Corp said yesterday it had reached a settlement with Telsim over money owed to it by the Turkish network operator. The agreement, subject to the successful sale of Telsim’s assets, was made possible by an arrangement between Telsim and the Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund, TMSF, which currently controls and manages Telsim’s assets, Nokia said. Telsim, along with some 200 other businesses owned by the Uzan company, was taken over by TMSF last year to collect debts stemming from the group’s troubled flagship bank, Imar. Last week the Turkish government put Telsim up for sale, setting an estimated value of $2.8 billion (2.3 billion euros) for the country’s second-largest mobile operator with December 5 as the deadline for final bid offers. The sale of the Turkish company, estimated to have 8 million customers, was delayed because of legal troubles over debts owed to US cell-phone maker Motorola Inc and Nokia. The Finnish mobile phone maker said its claims arose from Telsim’s default on its repayment of a loan borrowed in 2000 by the Uzan family that owned Telsim at the time. Nokia and Motorola jointly sued the Uzans in 2001, alleging that the family had no intention of paying back the $2.7 billion loan it borrowed to build a wireless network. In February 2004, an arbitration tribunal in Zurich, Switzerland, fully approved the claim against the Turkish company.