Yıldırım Group bids $1 bln for six firms

Yıldırım Group bids $1 bln for six firms

LONDON - Reuters
Yıldırım Group bids $1 bln for six firms

This photo shows one of the ships manufactured by the Yıldırım Group. Yıldırım is bidding to buy six firms. Company photo

Turkey’s Yıldırım Group has made offers totalling $1 billion in the past two months to buy six companies involved in energy, chrome and ports, owner Robert Yıldırım has said.

The privately-owned diverse industrial company has also offered to buy distressed shipping assets from European banks and amalgamate these. It expects to do so in early 2013.

“We have definitely seen more M&A opportunities since July, we’ve made six offers to buy companies in Turkey and outside in energy, metals and ports, a total of $1 billion has been offered,” Yıldırım told Reuters on Oct. 22.

“So far, 50 percent of these are secured and three are still under negotiations - it looks like I’m being aggressive but really I’m being very selective and chose six out of 40-50 opportunities,” he said.
The businessman said he could not name the companies involved for reasons of confidentiality.

Yıldırım said that investing in ships was at the bottom of his shopping list, after ports, mines and energy investments.

Chrome business

He said that he much preferred ports as an investment and was looking to either launch and initial public offering of the group’s port business or seek private equity investment by 2014-15 to grow further.

Yıldırım Group is the world’s second-largest ferrochrome player globally in terms of capacity, the owner said.

The company today aims to grow its chrome and ferrochrome business, in part through acquisition.
The four-year slump in shipping, one of the worst ever faced by the sector, has already sunk a number of shipping companies including one of Italy’s top dry bulk players, Deiulemar.

Industry sources say banks lending to the shipping sector may have to seize vessels from struggling owners in the coming months in a bid to recoup loans.

The Turkish group has proposed to buy such ships from the banks and put them together in its shipping businesses and the right time to do so may come in the first quarter of next year, Yıldırım said.