Automotive supplier to set up R&D centre and increase production
In a new cross-border investment the EBRD is providing a €20 million loan to the Bulgarian subsidiary of Teklas Kauçuk Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., a Turkish automotive supplier, to support its further expansion. A part of the loan will also help refurbish the company’s plant in Serbia.
The company manufactures fluid circulation systems and anti-vibration parts for auto giants such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Renault. Founded in 1971 in Turkey, Teklas today operates nine plants in five countries: Turkey, Bulgaria, China, Mexico and Serbia.
Teklas’s Bulgarian unit is the company’s largest subsidiary. It is based in Kardzhali, a southern town near the Turkish border, and employs 1,850 people. In 2012 the EBRD provided a €6 million loan for the previous modernisation and expansion of production facilities in Kardzhali.
Building on the success of the prior investment project, the Bank’s new financing will enable the company to set up a research and development (R&D) centre to strengthen its technological capacity. Teklas Bulgaria will also build a new unit to manufacture high-precision metal tubes, increasing production to meet growing demand.
These investments will transform Teklas’s plant in Kardzhali, an area with the highest unemployment and lowest level of foreign direct investment in Bulgaria, into a development, production and distribution hub selling directly to end-customers in the European Union and beyond.
Larisa Manastirli, EBRD Director for Bulgaria, said: “Teklas Bulgaria is an anchor for the town of Kardzhali and the country’s southern region. Its further expansion – and the EBRD’s continuous support – means economic growth and employment. We welcome in particular Teklas’s commitment to training local engineers and technicians for the new R&D centre through education programmes and know-how training.”
Nebi Anıl, the CEO of Teklas, added: “As Teklas, we are pleased to strengthen our relations with the EBRD, which has played an important role in our success story in Bulgaria since the start of our relationship in 2012. We have had a chance to realise most of the investments required by the customers in Teklas Bulgaria swiftly. Our aim is to manage increasing customer expectations with our cutting-edge technologies and provide innovative ideas from our R&D centre considering the latest trends.”
Enhancing competitiveness of companies like Teklas is part of the EBRD’s efforts to support the Bulgarian economy. The Bank believes that successful economies should be competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €3.6 billion in Bulgaria, with a record of €620 million in 2016 alone. In the years ahead, the Bank will aim to keep its level of investment at around €200 million annually in response to local demand.