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MTS will bid for Turkey's second largest operator, Telsim
Russia's major mobile phone operator, MTS, will bid for Turkey's second largest operator, Telsim, a senior MTS manager said Wednesday. Earlier reports said the bidder would be AFK Sistema, one of the largest diversified corporations in Russia. According to Andrei Braginsky, the head of MTS's department for public and investor ties, AFK Sistema's Turkish-based subsidiary, Sistema Telekoynikasyon Anonim Sirketi, will be re-registered for MTS. "In early December, we will make a final bid for the tender," Braginsky said. "We are now studying the asset and Turkey's mobile phone market." AFK Sistema submitted a tentative bid in the Telsim tender, along with 15 other companies, including Norway's Telenor, Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, and Britain's Vodafone. The deadline for final bids is December 5, and the results will be announced in mid-December. In September, AFK Sistema registered its Sistema Telekoynikasyon Anonim Sirketi in Turkey to conduct local marketing research. The corporation said it would hold 99.998% in the subsidiary. Telsim's client base is about 8 million. The company belonged to the Turkey's Uzan family until 2004 when its assets were frozen in a criminal investigation. The company is now operated by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey.
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