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Sabanci family members apply to sell shares in holding company

Family members belonging to one of Turkey's most powerful business families have applied to sell untraded shares it has been revealed.

The Sabanci family owns the $15 billion diversified conglomerate Sabanci Holding, which among other assets controls one of Turkey's largest banks Akbank.

However, a local stock exchange filing revealed that members of the family have applied to sell untraded shares in Sabanci Holding - believed to total 61% of the company's existing free float.

The shares can be sold over a 10-20-year period but could be sold immediately. Shares in Akbank fell sharply on the news, compounding other falls related to the credit crunch.

A statement on Sabanci Holding's website revealed that the sellers were non-controlling shareholders' whose decision to sell is at their own discretion. "Such decisions have short-term effects on share price," it said.

Family members who have the controlling power "are represented in the Sabanci Holding board of directors and are acting jointly for long-term value creation," the statement continued.

Sabanci Holding is led by chairman and managing director Guler Sabanci (pictured).

Click here to read in detail about Sabanci and Turkey's other powerful families.

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