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TeliaSonera Holding Asset - Sale Talks

TeliaSonera’s Leaving Eurasia May Be Delayed

Absence of potential buyers of TeliaSonera’s assets in the Eurasia region has complicated the process of sales, and increased uncertainty in achieving the expected results in the short term, the company said Jan. 29 in a report on 2015 operating results.

TeliaSonera announced the reduction of its presence in the Eurasia region (Azerbaijan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan) in September 2015.

Economic problems in Eurasia are complicating a plan for TeliaSonera to sell out of networks there, chief Johan Dennelind says.

“Macro is troublesome in many markets and you could argue the timing is wrong,” Dennelind says. “But focusing efforts into the Nordic and Baltic markets is more important. We have to make sure we exit responsibly — we are not running away and leave the keys on the table.”

The Swedish operator expressed an interest in selling out of the region — and its Fintur co-owner Turkcell (TKC +2.9%) showed a strong interest in buying — but the company says closing a sale may be tough.

Other parties than Turkcell are interested in Fintur, though, which owns four operators in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

The Turkish carrier says it’s working to take control of Fintur, which owns four mobile operators in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova. Turkcell has a 41.45% interest in Fintur, and TeliaSonera the other 58.55%.