Azeri billionaire buys dock with Turkish firm

Azeri billionaire buys dock with Turkish firm

Hülya GÜLER ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Azeri billionaire buys dock with Turkish firm

Palmali and Fiba have bought jointly a shipyard in İzmit. AA photo

Palmali, the shipping company owned by billionaire of Azeri descent Mübariz Mansimov Gurbanoğlu, has acquired a shipbuilding yard in the İzmit gulf region, together with Turkey’s Fiba Holding.

Istanbul-based Palmali Group, one of the world’s five largest maritime companies in terms of tonnage, and Fiba Holding, particularly active in finance and retailing but also in the maritime sector, bought the TVK shipbuilding yard, worth around 50 million euros, in the northwestern Marmara region province of İzmit in a 50-50 partnership. The new name of the shipyard will be Armada.

After buying the inactive shipyard, Palmali immediately made a 15 million euro investment in order to reactive it, said Palmali Executive Vice President Alaattin Aykaç, adding that they had ordered three ships to be built. Aykaç said the orders were for 7,500-ton capacity chemical tankers, and that they had received orders of high technology offshore platform supply ships.

Aykaç said they could now build their own ships in their shipyard instead of others as they did before. “We will build ship orders worth $500 million, contracted by Palmali, in the next decade at Armada shipyard. We plan to complete Palmali’s five ships’ construction in the next two years. So, we will complete orders worth 100 million euros. Our goal is to take a higher share in high technology ship manufacturing in global markets,” he said.

Gurbanoğlu, who has been named the 26th wealthiest man in Turkey and the wealthiest in Azerbaijan, had said in February that last year was the most lucrative and luckiest year for Palmali, as it had bought 12 ships when everyone said the ship sector was finished.

Fiba Holding Chairman Hüsnü Özyeğin had said that they were set to grow in the maritime sector and that they might enter ship manufacturing. Fiba, which bought Kumport harbor in Istanbul in 2008, made its second investment in the sector with the latest acquisition.