Japanese companies join forces for Istanbul bridge

Japanese companies join forces for Istanbul bridge

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Japanese companies join forces for Istanbul bridge

Fatih Sultan Bridge over the Bosphorus is seen in this undated photo. Turkey is seeking investors to build a third bridge to connect two sides of Istanbul.

Four Japanese firms are still interested in building a third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosphorus following the failed tender by the Turkish government Jan. 10, according to a Japanese diplomat.

“Japanese companies are still showing their interests to join the construction of the third bridge,” Yasuhiro Fukuda, trade attaché from Japanese Embassy in Ankara, told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview yesterday.

Mitsubishi, IHI, Obayashi and Itochu, the companies that were authorized to but did not attend the tender, along with five more foreign and nine local competitors, were still willing to take their chances and restart the talks with the government, according to the Japanese official.

“They are open to talks on the details of the project with the government officials,” said Yasuhiro.
The cost of the highway road project that stretches from Adapazarı to Tekirdağ in Turkey’s northwest, which also includes a third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosphorus, was estimated at $6 billion.

“The project is too big to finance,” general manager of one of the Japanese firms told the Daily News under the condition of anonymity yesterday by phone. Both construction and operating rights of the third bridge and the highway should be divided and introduced as two tenders, which would ease financing, the source said.

“A smaller scale would make the project feasible and profitable for us,” the source said, adding that Japanese firms were preparing to start the talks with Turkey. “Any action plan including some incentives from Turkish government would be appreciated by us,” said the executive.

Talks may start soon
Despite the failure of the tender, Fukuda said this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the Japanese firms are losing their interest in the project. Bilateral talks between a possible Japanese consortium and the Turkish government was possible soon, he added. Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Şimsek said Jan. 11 the state was capable of funding the project on its own, but preferred not to.

The government offers 25-year operating rights for the toll road project which spans 414 km.
Cengiz, Gülsan, Kolin, STFA, Mapa, Nural, Park, Holding, Varyap and Yüksel were the possible local bidders. In addition to the Japanese firms, Stradag from Austria; Moskovskly Metrostroy, NPO and Mostovik from Russia; FFC Construction from Spain; and Astaldi from Italy also received specifications for the tender.

M&A could feel pinch in 2012

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

2012 could be a tough year on the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) front in Turkey especially if the slated privatizations for this year do not materialize, according to the Ernst&Young Mergers and Acquisitions 2012 report published yesterday.

Ernst&Young Corporate Finance head Müşfik Cantekinler said in 2011 there was roughly $14 billion in M&A activity.

“We closed 2011 with nearly $14 billion in M&A activity, but due to the continuing global economic turmoil, we expect 2012 to be a very tough year for M&A,” Cantekinler said.

Cantekinler believes there will be $20 billion in M&A volume in 2012 due to the upcoming privatizations, which include the bridge, highways and Başkent Natural Gas.

Cantekinler said in 2012 he expects there to be activity in the energy, financial services, insurance, health, retail and manufacturing sectors. “I think there could be some movement on the media side with interest both from domestic and foreign sources,” he said. Cantekinler also said he expected Denizbank’s sale to take place in 2012.