Cukurova Wins More Time to Buy Back Turkcell Stake From Alfa

Cukurova Holding AS won more time to pay $1.56 billion to recover a disputed 13.7 percent-stake in Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator from Russian Alfa Group.

The U.K. Privy Council in London ruled today that Cukurova could take longer than 60 days to pay the sum to regain control of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS.

Turkcell has been at the center of a dispute between its founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, who owns Cukurova, Nordic operator TeliaSonera AB and Mikhail Fridman, the Russian billionaire who controls Alfa Group. Alfa seized the Turkcell stake through its unit Altimo when it said Cukurova defaulted on a 2005 loan agreement for which the shares were pledged as collateral.

The five-judge panel ruled that it suspended, with immediate effect, an interest of 8 percent over the Libor rate on the stake.

One of Alfa Group’s Turkish units is “intentionally and very seriously” hampering Cukurova in its attempts to raise money, the judges said in a summary of today’s ruling.

The court didn’t set a deadline for Cukurova to repay the debt and said the parties could apply to set a cut-off date any time after Dec. 1.

Turkcell rose as much as 2.2 percent to 11.4 liras on Borsa Istanbul, the highest in four days. The share price rose 1.4 percent to 11.3 liras at 4:46 p.m.

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