Akfen eyes port and bridge privatizations
Akfen plans to take part in tenders for the privatization of two bridges over the Bosphorus, which generate high toll revenues, says chief executive Süha Güçsay (2nd R).Akfen Holding, the large property developer and airport and port operator, is eyeing chances in the government’s privatization plans over Istanbul bridges, highways and ports, the group’s chief executive said yesterday.
“We are planning to take part in the tender of the privatization of the two bridges of Istanbul and the highways,” said Süha Güçsav at a press meeting in Istanbul.
He noted the company took part in the tender on May 17 with the consortium formed with Autostrade per l’Italia, Doğuş Holding and Makyol Construction. Turkey’s Privatization Board is trying to sell the 1,975 km of highways in addition to two bridges over the Bosphorus.
“We are also planning to take part in Galataport privatization,” said Güçsav, noting the Turkish government aimed to finalize the privatization of the Istanbul port by the Bosphorus this year. The major port project bid was first brought to the table in 2005, but the Chamber of Urban Planners took the process to the Council of State, which canceled the project in 2006 due to improper conduct. “We are planning to bid with Eczacıbaşı Holding,” he added.
Noting the holding had reached a total revenue of $800 million last year, Güçsav said the company planned to invest nearly $300 million in the Mersin natural gas grid with a total capacity of 540 megawatts. He said the facility will start working this year with the additional investment. According to him, Mersin Port would also need to increase its competitiveness as Limak Holding’s port in the southern province of İskenderun by the Mediterranean would share the load of the business, with Mersin Port long used to being the sole container port of the region.
Talks on TAV shares
“We have not yet completed the sale of the shares of TAV,” said Kadri Samsunlu, chief financial officer of Akfen Holding. Akfen and Tepe had announced previously they were planning to sell most of their shares in TAV Airports. Together the pair owns 40 percent of the company’s total shares.
“The French are interested in acquiring the shares, that is true,” said Samsunlu, confirming the recent news in Turkish media that French construction company Vinci was interested in buying the shares put up for sale by TAV Airports.
Akfen Holding also readies for the biggest bond issue in Turkey’s private sector with nominal value of 100 million Turkish Liras. The book building for the bonds will take place March 6 to 8 and the company might increase the issued bonds to 200 million liras if demand is high.
According to Güçsav, Akfen Holding also readies for the initial public offering of the Istanbul Fast Ferries (IDO) with a Souter, Sera consortium offering $861 million last April.