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Voda gobbles Turkey cellco

Serves up $4.55bn

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Vodafone is splashing out $4.55bn (£2.57bn) on Turkey's second biggest mobile operator as part of plans to enter one of Europe's biggest markets.

Vodafone won an auction for Telsim run by the Turkish Savings Deposit and Investment Fund.

Telsim has some nine million punters but in a country where just over half of the 72m population has a mobile, Vodafone reckons there's real scope for growth.

Part of the optimism is sparked by Vodafone's belief that Telsim has been "historically under-managed and suffered from under-investment in its network and customer propositions". To remedy the lack of cash that's been invested in the business Vodafone looks set to dig deep into pockets and invest around $1bn (£560m) in the business.

But, with Voda's know-how, cash and branding execs reckon they can turn the business around

"With a larger population than every European country except Germany, and a penetration level of approximately 53 per cent, the Turkish market represents a major growth opportunity," said Vodafone chief exec Arun Sarin.

"Our extensive operating experience and unique set of products and services positions us to compete effectively in such a youthful market and deliver a superior mobile experience to Turkish customers."

The deal is expected to be completed by spring next year. ®

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