TeliaSonera Challenges Turkcell on Governance

Sweden-based carrier takes legal action against Turkcell chairman over board composition

March 24, 2011

1 Min Read

STOCKHOLM -- In order to safeguard good corporate governance in Turkcell, to the benefit of all shareholders, and protect its legal rights as minority shareholder, TeliaSonera takes legal action against the Chairman of Turkcell, Mr. Colin J. Williams.TeliaSonera has for years argued that the number of independent board members in Turkcell has to increase in order for Turkcell to follow requirements by the Turkish Capital Markets Board and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Such actions have however been blocked by Cukurova and the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Colin J. Williams.

TeliaSonera has lately put forward formal requests to the Board of Turkcell to add the possibility for Turkcell’s shareholders to address the board composition at the upcoming Annual Shareholders’ Meeting (AGM). The right for a minority shareholder, with more than 5 percent of the shares in a listed company, to address an issue at the AGM is a basic and clear right under Turkish law. TeliaSonera has now, through the actions of a minority of the Turkcell board members, been denied this legal right. The actions are clear violations of the law. It is particularly troubling that the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Colin J Williams, who is the only independent board member and whose vote would have altered the Board’s decision, has acted against the law.

“Following the law is a minimum requirement for a Chairman of a major listed international company. We also believe that issues regarding corporate governance should be openly discussed and decided by all shareholders at the AGM and not be blocked behind closed doors by a minority of the Board,” says Cecilia Edström, Senior Vice President and Head of Group Communications.

Telia Company

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