Owners of Turkey’s Fonet Weigh Selling a Stake in IT Firm

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(Bloomberg) --

The owners of a Turkish medical IT provider are in talks to sell a majority stake or all of the business as the coronavirus pandemic increases health-care needs globally, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

Fonet Bilgi Teknolojileri AS, an Ankara-based provider of software and IT solutions to hospitals, is working with an adviser on the plans, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Fonet is in early talks with potential international suitors, including two possible Italian bidders, some of the people said. Discussions are preliminary and may not result in a deal, they said.

“After requests from abroad for talks on our company’s shares, a contract has been signed with an advisory firm to assess strategic and financial cooperation opportunities,” Fonet, which is majority owned by Turkey’s Gazen family, said in in a public filing on Thursday. Any transaction is uncertain, the company said.

Fonet shares rose as much as 9.8% before paring gains to close 0.3% higher at 10.70 liras, its highest since May 15. The stock has surged more than 130% since March 17, shortly after Turkey reported the first coronavirus casualties, compared with a 26% rise in the main Borsa Istanbul.

The company provides IT services to more than 180 hospitals in Turkey, or to more than 10% of the nation’s 230,000 beds. Its services allow hospitals to share real-time information on patients, treatments, laboratory data, and other areas. The company recently opened an office in Stockholm.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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