Istanbul ferry firm uneasy over rivals

Istanbul ferry firm uneasy over rivals

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul ferry firm uneasy over rivals

Brian Souter is a co-founder of Stagecoach, a partner of İDO. Hürriyet photo

The likely emerging rivals to İDO, Istanbul’s ferry transport firm, may hurt investment plans for marine transportation in Turkey’s most populous city, the main Scottish investor in the firm has said.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Brian Souter, founder of Stagecoach, said the company would no longer be able to run loss-making commuter services if rival companies are officially granted to the right to operate on the profitable Topçular-Eskihisar line.

Souter also said İDO would reconsider plans to upgrade Istanbul’s transport structure ahead of its 2020 Olympics bid.

“That license is not being openly tendered; it’s been given to another company, without an opportunity to tender for it. ... It’s breaching the integrity of the privatization; if this privatization is unsuccessful it doesn’t send the right message to the international community about privatization in Turkey,” FT quoted him as saying.

A consortium of Souter Investors, some other Scottish investors and Turkish companies Tepe, Akfen and Sera bought İDO from the Istanbul Municipality for $860 million last year.

Recently Bursa Municipality revealed plans to establish a rival ferry transport business to offer a cheap alternative particularly for Bursa-based passengers. Negmar, a Saudi Arabian-Turkish joint venture, announced its own plans to operate a route on the Topçular-Eskihisar line.