IRANCELL REPLACES TURKCELL WITH SOUTH AFRICAN MTN

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Turkish telecom giant Turkcell has lost all chances as Irancell Consortium give the priority to South Africa's Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) by signing the 300 million euro second mobile telephone operator deal in order not to loose the lucrative market, said an Iranian official last Sunday.

"MTN will be absolutely given the priority but we can also talk with other interested parties for the credit and financial aspects of the deal. Turkcell has missed all its opportunities," a Defense Ministry official said.

The chairman of the Board of Directors of Irancell and head of the Electronic Industries Department of the Defense Ministry Ebrahim Mahmudzadeh, told a press conference that Irancell can sign the deal with other alternative firms, including MTN, in a week in a quest for better terms.

Mahmudzadeh said the Iranian partners decided to turn to other foreign partners due to Turkcell's failure to fulfill obligations during the deadlines and also because of the company's internal and external problems, which dragged the Ankara government into the issue.

He said Iran has sought other partners in order not to lose the lucrative market following the entry of Telia Co.

"Since we are losing the market, especially with the entry of Telia, that poses great threat to the Iranian and foreign partners we have decided not to lose another day in the project," he added.

He went on to say that the Iranian partners of the Irancell consortium started negotiations with South African MTN as of last week and in their opinion the relationship with Turkcell is dead.

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