Teliasonera Says Turkcell May Call Annual Meeting Within 30 Days

TeliaSonera AB (TLSN), the biggest shareholder in Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL), said it expects the unit’s board to call an annual shareholders meeting in 30 days after the event didn’t convene today as there wasn’t a quorum, owing to a stakeholders’ dispute.

The other two major partners -- Altimo of Russia, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, and Cukurova Holding AS of Turkey, owned by Turkcell founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet -- couldn’t agree on the proxy to represent them at the meeting, so it wasn’t held today, Cecilia Edstrom, a TeliaSonera spokeswoman, said by phone from Stockholm. Turkcell shares fell as much as 5 percent to 11.35 liras in Istanbul.

The meeting today was expected to discuss paying dividends from 2010, 2011 and 2012 profits, which weren’t distributed as TeliaSonera and Altimo blocked the payments in an attempt to force the ouster of Chairman Colin Williams from the board, claiming he hampered Turkcell’s growth by favoring Karamehmet. The market regulator appointed three independent board members in March to help resolve the board disputes.

TeliaSonera “will work hard to have the next meeting,” Edstrom said. “We are disappointed that today’s meeting didn’t happen because Cukurova and Altimo couldn’t agree on the proxy.”

The estimated total for three years of unpaid dividends is about 2.9 billion liras ($1.6 billion), according to an e-mailed comment by Istanbul-based Tera Brokers.

TeliaSonera, Altimo and Cukurova have been fighting a three-cornered battle for control of the company for almost a decade. While TeliaSonera is the largest shareholder with 38 percent, Cukurova has sought to retain control via a complex ownership structure even after its stake declined to 13.7 percent.

Turkcell shares declined 2.9 percent to 11.60 liras as of 3:02 p.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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