Turkey’s huge highway financing ‘restructured to $5 bln’

Turkey’s huge highway financing ‘restructured to $5 bln’

ISTANBUL - Reuters
A consortium of nine banks has restructured the financing for the Gebze-İzmir highway project in Turkey to $5 billion, while the maturity was extended to 15 years from a previous seven, banking sources said.
The maturity was seven years in the first financing package.

The deal is expected to be signed soon, according to sources.The consortium consists of Deutsche Bank and eight Turkish banks: Akbank, Finansbank, Garanti Bankası, Halkbank, İş Bank , Vakıfbank, Yapı Kredi and Ziraat Bank.

A consortium of Nurol, Italy’s Astaldi, Özaltın, Makyol, Yüksel and Göçay Construction won the 22-year operating rights for the highway in a 2009 tender for a build-operate-transfer deal. Yüksel Group subsequently withdrew from the consortium.

The highway is expected to reduce travel time between Istanbul and İzmir from seven hours to about three hours when it is completed in 2017.

The project will include a long suspension bridge built over the Gulf of İzmit. The bridge, meanwhile, will be 3,000 meters long.