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EBRD acquires a stake in Turkish port operator Global Ports

By Olga Rosca

Cruisers - EBRD acquires a stake in Turkish port operator Global Ports

A vote of confidence in a strong player taking up new markets

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing in a minority stake of the Turkish port operator Global Ports Holding (GPH) in a move to boost the company’s operations.

One of the largest port-operating companies and the largest cruise port operator in the world, GPH (or Global Liman Isletmeleri AS, as it is formally known in Turkey) has eight ports in five countries in the Mediterranean and Asia Pacific region. It is an arm of Global Yatirim Holding AS (Global Investment Holdings) which operates in the infrastructure, real estate, energy and financial services sectors in Turkey.

The proceeds of the Bank’s investment will be used to finance the company’s future investments in ports in countries where the EBRD invests. Global Ports’ expansion abroad will promote integration among ports and create network synergies, as well as helping to further consolidate the company’s position in the international market.

As a shareholder, the EBRD will nominate a member for the board of Global Ports and will help further advance the company’s corporate governance, making it more competitive both in Turkey and abroad.

Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said: “We are pleased to provide an important funding boost to Global Ports as it seeks to expand and broaden its horizons along the Mediterranean before a landmark listing.”

An international listing is planned for 2016-18 and is expected to deepen capital market development in the Turkish port and infrastructure sectors, paving the way for other infrastructure companies in the country to list their shares.

Mehmet Kutman, Chairman of Global Ports, said: “I am honoured to follow the footsteps of the founder of GPH, Gregory M. Kiez, by welcoming the EBRD as our partner, which will support our expansion plan, especially in the cruise port arena where our company is the leading operator worldwide.”

Supporting infrastructure companies as they explore new ways of financing growth is an important part of the EBRD’s strategy in Turkey.

The Bank started investing in the country in 2009. It currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. In 2014 Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD, with new investments worth €1.4 billion.

To date the Bank has invested over €6 billion in Turkey through close to 160 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised over €12 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

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