ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish army pension fund Oyak Group took control of steelmaker Erdemir yesterday after ditching a deal with European steel giant Arcelor to buy the stake jointly. Privatization and company officials told a news conference Oyak handed over $2.96 billion (2.46 billion euros). Oyak made the winning bid of $2.77 billion (2.3 billion euros) for a 46 percent stake tendered last year as part of an International Monetary Fund-backed privatization program. It then bought another 3 percent stake from state investment bank TKB for $190.2 million (158.5 million euros) and as part of the deal will be handed a 2.9 percent stake held by Erdemir as treasury stock, taking its shareholding over 50 percent. The pension fund had agreed to buy the stake with Arcelor by selling the European steelmaker a stake in a vehicle company set up to buy Erdemir, but said last week it was ditching that deal to avoid procedural delays. But the Oyak Group stated that both it and Arcelor were considering continuing exclusive talks once the purchase was wrapped up.