Alfa Telecom has made an offer of $2.8 billion to buy back a 13.8% stake in Turkcell.
Reuters reports that the bid, which would effectively give the Russian group control of Turkey’s largest mobile company, is nevertheless likely to be strongly opposed by regulators.
The bid also marks the latest stage in a struggle between Alfa Group and Turkcell’s founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, who owns Çukurova Holding, for control of the company going back nearly a decade.
It appeared to have come to an end last year when an international court of arbitration ordered Alfa to sell the stake to Çukurova for $1.6 billion.
The latter was paid by a loan from the state bank Ziraat that has yet to be repaid.
Given that Alfa already owns 13.22% of Turkcell, its offer, were it to be accepted, would make it the largest shareholder in Turkcell.
Sources believe that either Çukurova or Ziraat could try to buy Alfa’s existing stake in Turkcell.
Besides being its leading mobile operator, Turkcell also has interests in the country’s TV industry.