Merrill Lynch said no to Turkish defense firm ‘unwillingly’

Merrill Lynch said no to Turkish defense firm ‘unwillingly’

ANKARA/ASTANA – Anadolu Agency
Merrill Lynch said no to Turkish defense firm ‘unwillingly’

Turkish Aselsan plans a second public offering next year. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkish defense firm Aselsan General Manager Cengiz Ergeneman said Merrill Lynch “unwillingly” withdrew its offer for advising and underwriting Aselsan’s second public offering.

“We knew that Merrill Lynch had rejected our offer due to its special conditions. There is a supra-institution which had asked the company not to take part in the program following an evaluation process. Merrill Lynch withdrew from the process unwillingly,” he said.

Aselsan had other alternatives and has been in talks with a Goldman Sachs-Garanti Investment consortium, noted Ergeneman.

“It was, however, very surprising to us as Merrill Lynch had announced it would not take part in our second public offering process unilaterally as there was a consortium and the company should have declared its decision via the consortium. The company, however, chose to make statement to the press. We have other alternatives,” he said.

“If it is possible that you will work with the Chinese company, China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp. (CPMIEC), we would not work with you,” said Merrill Lynch in a letter sent to Aselsan.

Questioned by daily Hürriyet last week, Merrill Lynch confirmed that it had refused Aselsan’s offer due to Turkey’s missile deal with China, but declined to give further details of the letter said to have been sent to Aselsan.

Fifteen percent of Aselsan has so far been offered to the public, and the company has been talking with several international consultancy firms ahead of its second public offering.

Ergeneman said some fifteen more shares may be publicly offered during the process.

“We’ll make the final decision after discussing the terms with our consultants,” he noted, adding that the coming money would be used in making new investments and increasing exports.

The company’s biggest priorities were to complete a production plant facility in the province of Gölbaşı, near Ankara, and to increase trade volume, he said.

The second public offering is expected to take place between March and May next year.