Turkcell Said to Eye IPO for Phone Towers to Raise Funds

  • Company is also mulling a stake sale, other options for unit
  • Sale, IPO would follow similar moves by other phone companies

Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone carrier, is considering an initial public offering for its wireless towers unit, as it looks for ways to raise cash to cut debt and fund deals, according to people with knowledge with of the matter. The shares jumped to their highest level since December.

Turkcell may also decide to sell a stake in the tower and infrastructure business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The company is considering a number of options for the unit and no final decision has been made, the people said.

A representative for Turkcell said that while the company explores all options for its assets to increase shareholder value, the board hasn’t made a decision regarding the tower unit.

Turkcell rose 1.8 percent to 10.89 liras at 11:11 a.m. in Istanbul, the highest intraday price since Dec. 10. The stock has risen about 10 percent this year.

A sale or IPO would follow similar moves by other carriers, which have sold off parts of their networks to raise funds. Telefonica SAis also considering an IPO for its phone towers, which may include assets in Spain, Germany and Latin America, people familiar with the matter said in December. Telecom Italia SpA spun off its towers in an IPO last year and billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB created a separate company for its mobile infrastructure.

Turkcell’s Global Tower unit sells access to its infrastructure to phone operators, broadcasters and public institutions. It has more than 23,000 service points, made up of towers as well as rooftop and in-building systems, where antennas broadcast and receive wireless signals, according to the company’s website.

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