You do not have to be an oracle to anticipate what we will be discussing from now on. It could already be anticipated 2 years ago (A Marriage Story).
We are on the desired point this week. With 3 subsequent news..
First of all, Telefonica withdrew from the privatization of Turkish Telecom because of the “uncertainties about AVEA” as it stated. They had apologized later on; however, this was not enough to erase the question marks that have been formed about AVEA and the privatization of Turkish Telecom.
Later, news arrived that Avea had postponed its debts again. It had been already stated that Avea ended the year 2004 bearing a loss.
The most interesting statement was made today by Telecom Italia. Telecom Italia SpA and Pirelli & C. SpA President Marco Tronchetti Provera announced that they wanted to know the terms on getting out of Avea in the event that they lose Turkish Telecom tender. Provera, who answered the questions of the members of the press in the meeting of Investment Consultancy Council which is going on in Istanbul, expressed that in the event that they lose the tender for Turkish Telecom, they will be in competing position on Avea, with the corporation who is going to be awarded the tender, and then they would prefer to get out.
Provera said, “Telecom Italia wants to know the terms about getting out of Avea, if it loses the tender for Turkish Telecom. It wants the option to get out, to be clearly stated.” He then added that they had invested more than $3 billion in Turkish Telecom sector and that they definitely wanted to go on and they wanted to continue investing. He expressed that they cannot stay as competitors in the same company if they lose the tender for Turkish Telecom and this was of no doubt and if they are awarded the tender, they would implement their own strategies.
Speculations and Rumors are Increasing as the Tender Date Approaches
Naturally, the speculations and rumors are increasing as the date for the privatization of Turkish Telecom approaches. On one hand there are speculations that Turkish Telecom has 2.5 quadrillion Turkish Liras in cash, on the other hand there is “the Turkish Telecom file about the companies that enter the tender” somehow it had been exposed to the press, and on the other side, two foreign operators who make statements on AVEA.
About Telefonica, who stated that it had withdrew from the privatization, a specialist from the telecom sector says;
“Telefonica may have stated so, because they had no cash left after the amounts they had paid to Czechoslovakia Telecom. They may have brought up AVEA to provide an excuse.”
Another specialist talks about the statement of Telecom Italia:
“It was known that the job done 2 years ago was wrong, but it is now fully exposed. Either Avea partners (TIM) should not have entered the tender for Telecom, or Telecom should have been tendered after Avea was separated. The end of this is not going to be fine. In the future, it is likely to see the people that had done this, in the courts.
Now, either they will be forced to give Telecom to TIM somehow, or the tender will be cancelled. Meanwhile, maybe, Avea will fully turn to the government!
The statements of Telecom Italia caused various interpretations in the sector. Some of them say that “Telecom Italia was not happy with AVEA and that it wants to get rid of it and will exploit the privatization to achieve that”, others say that “What Telecom Italia do is literally a menace. They clearly say, “If you don’t give Turkish Telecom, we will give AVEA back.” This is unacceptable. But because of some unapt directors, we had fallen into this situation by ourselves.”
Attacks of Turkish Telecom
As the privatization bid is closing, Turkish Telecom is also forming an agenda by its own means.
One of them is the 2.5 quadrillion Turkish Liras in cash that they say they posses. Since the companies that enter the tender for Turkish Telecom know indeed what figures mean and since Turkish Telecom officials know that they can not influence these people by these ways, the target of such a statement must be those who do not have an understanding of economics or those who can not examine Turkish Telecom’s balance sheets. And these signs could be interpreted as the tendency of the privatization is going to go towards “the public”.
Another topic of the week is the “file” subject. In the file which had been prepared by Turkish Telecom, there are notes about those companies that are going to enter the privatization, one by one. Nevertheless, it had not been declared how this file was exposed to the press. This, in a way, is interpreted as another news which Turkish Telecom is utilizing in its path to its objective.
According to this, in the Turkish Telecom file, Koc-Sabanci joint venture group, Dogan Group and OYAK is market as ‘uncertain’, Turkish Privatization Investors is marked as ‘interested’, Calik Group-Etisalat is market as ‘will bid’, Turktell is marked as ‘will bid’, Saudi Oger is marked as ‘will bid’, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) is marked as ‘will bid, is checking its position at AVEA’, SK Telecom is marked as ‘interested in Telsim’.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Saudi Oger and Calik Group-Etisalat groups had presented information to the Privatization Administration Authority in order to make a change in their consortium structure.