Turk Telekom Places Bids for Bulgaria's Globul, Germanos
Turkey's telecoms company Turk Telekom said on Wednesday it had submitted non-binding bids to buy Bulgarian mobile operator Globul and the electronic appliance retail chain Germanos, put up for sale by the owner, Greece's OTE.
Turk Telekom said in a statement to Istanbul Stock Exchange that the bids were placed as part of the company's plans for regional expansion.
A day earlier Turkey's largest mobile phone operator Turkcell said it had placed a non-binding preliminary bid to buy Bulgarian mobile operator Globul.
The Istanbul-based company, in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, said it placed the bid as it explores investment opportunities in the region.
Turkcell is Turkey's biggest mobile operator, serving 35m subscribers there and another 30m through subsidiaries and minority stakes in other countries. But the company has been struggling this year with shareholder wrangling.
The country's second richest man, Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, is fighting to keep control of the firm he co-founded. His Cukurova Holding, a family-owned group, is pitted against Turkcell's two other big shareholders, TeliaSonera, a Nordic telecoms operator, and Altimo, a subsidiary of Alfa Group, a large Russian investment firm.
The firm's two competitors on the Turkish market are Vodafone and Avea, which is controlled by Turk Telekom, the incumbent fixed-line giant.
Turk Telekom was bought in 2005 by Saudi Oger, a group founded by Rafik Hariri, a Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated in 2005.
Globul, Bulgaria's second-biggest mobile operator, reported earlier this month a sharp decline in revenues in a worrying sign about the future deal.
The revenues of telecoms operator Globul have dropped 20.9% in the third quarter of the year on an annual basis to EUR 85.9 M, data shows.
OTE, the biggest telecoms operator in southeastern Europe, announced in mid-June it plans to sell its Bulgarian units to help refinance EUR 3.4 B debt maturing in the next two years.
According to unconfirmed reports, OTE has hired the London unit of US Citigroup as a consultant for the sale.
Greek telecoms group OTE will seek to sell its Bulgarian businesses - a mobile phone company and an electronic appliance retail chain Germanos - for no less than EUR 800 M, according to reports.
Deutsche Telekom, which controls a 40% stake in OTE, Turkish Turkcell, British Vodafone and Orange, owned by France Telekom, have been listed as potential buyers.
Globul is the trademark under which Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile EAD offers mobile telecommunications services in Bulgaria.
The company is 100% owned by Cosmote, OTE's mobile phone arm.
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