Assenting to tender would be ‘treason’ : Turkish PM Erdoğan

Assenting to tender would be ‘treason’ : Turkish PM Erdoğan

Assenting to tender would be ‘treason’ : Turkish PM Erdoğan

The tender offer should have been a minimum of $7 billion, the prime minister says.

The true value of Turkey’s cancelled $5.7 billion toll roads privatization tender has been assessed to be at least $7 billion, and to settle for less would be treason, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Feb. 25 after arriving in Istanbul from the United Arab Emirates. 

“The results of the study that we conducted after the tender has suggested two ideal amounts at $11-12 billion or $8-9 billion, but if you ask how much it should be at a minimum, it appears to be $7 billion,” he said, adding that issuing the tender at this price while knowing it should be higher would be treasonous.

The Finance Ministry canceled the privatization tender, which included two suspension bridges over Istanbul’s Bosphorus, on Feb. 22, just weeks after Erdoğan criticized the bid total for being too low.

Erdoğan also confirmed that that the tolls and bridges will likely be offered to the public as part of the new tender. “We want to handle the issue with the public offering as it has become the prominent common opinion [among] the ministers.”

The winner of the tender, the consortium of Koç Holding, the largest conglomerate in the country, Gözde Girişim, with links to local food giant Yıldız Holding, and Malaysia’s UEM Group Berhad, said in a public statement on Feb. 25 that they had placed their offer considering highly specific conditions and Turkey’s growth potential, but learned the tender had been canceled.

The consortium did not make any further comments.

Koç and Gözde hold 40 percent and 20 percent stakes in the consortium, respectively, while UEM Group holds a 40 percent equity stake. 

The tolls and bridges’ privatization tender was the second highest privatization tender in Turkish history.