Istanbul ferry operator İDO launches debt restructuring talks
The seabus and fast ferry company of Istanbul, known as İDO, has launched talks with its creditors to restructure a debt stemming from a loan which it obtained to buy vessels and equipment, Reuters reported on Feb. 7.
İDO had problems repaying the $500 million loan since its operations generate revenue in Turkish Liras, according to the report.
The ferry operator’s creditors mandated Lazard – one of the world’s leading financial advisory and asset management firm, advising on mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring – to carry out the talks with İDO.
In November last year, İDO announced that it had shut down inner city lines due to “economic reasons,” citing the depreciation of the Turkish Lira and the tender of a bridge across a major bay neighboring Istanbul.
İDO explained in a statement issued on Nov. 19 that that it could get only a limited 22 percent price increase permit from the municipality in the past three years despite its increasing costs, which it claims to stand at 85 percent.
The Osmangazi Bridge, built over the İzmit Bay and opened in July 2016, has dramatically lowered the demand for the ferry line running between Kocaeli’s Eskihisar and Yalova’s Topçular piers, the company said.
The company cited a government incentive provided for the bridge operators, which came after the opening of the bridge in 2016, naming the drop in the bridge fee “unfair competition.”
İDO, however, later decided to continue its operations in Istanbul.
İDO operated its fast ferry lines, starting from 1987, within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality until it was acquired by the Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera consortium for $861 million.