Azerbaijan Government Buys Majority Stake in Azercell

Azerbaijan International Telecom, a company wholly owned by the government of Azerbaijan, has purchased Fintur Holdings’ 51.3 per cent stake in Azertel, the sole shareholder of the Azeri telecommunications operator Azercell. The deal is reported to be worth 222 million euros. Fintur is a joint venture between the Swedish Telia group, and Turkey’s leading mobile operator Turkcell.

“It is satisfying that we are able to announce a joint agreement with Turkcell to sell Azercell in Azerbaijan,” said Johan Dennelind, president and CEO of Telia Company. “This is the fourth divestment in our effort to, over time, leave Eurasia and focus on the Nordic and Baltic regions within the framework of our New Generation Telco strategy. I would like to thank Azercell’s employees for their outstanding contributions.”

Azercell, which began operations in 1996, has around 4.5 million customers. The deal values the company at 432 million euros. Telia confirmed that the transaction is not subject to regulatory or competition approvals – as the buyer is the Azerbaijani government – and has been completed.

Since 2015 Telia has exited four of the seven countries in its Eurasian unit: Nepal, Tajikistan, Georgia and now Azerbaijan. It still has operations in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Moldova, as well as Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.