Telsim settles its dispute with Nokia, pays $341m

HELSINKI (AP) – Nokia Corp announced yesterday it has received $341.25 million since the completion of the sale of Turkish operator Telsim’s assets, after the two companies agreed to a settlement last year. The agreement in August was made possible by an arrangement between Telsim and the Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund, TMSF, which sold Telsim’s assets to Vodafone. «Nokia is pleased with the resolution of the issue with Telsim,» the world’s largest mobile phone maker said. «The closing of the settlement agreement opens the way for Nokia’s continued support of Telsim’s operations, which will benefit not only Telsim’s subscribers but also the Turkish telecommunications market at large.» Telsim, and some 200 other businesses owned by the Uzan company, was taken over by TMSF in 2004 to collect debts stemming from the group’s troubled flagship bank, Imar. In August 2005, the Turkish government put Telsim up for sale, setting an estimated value of $2.8 billion 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 cell-phone makers Motorola Inc and Nokia. Nokia said its claims arose from Telsim’s default on its repayment of a loan borrowed in 2000 by the Uzan family, which 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.