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İDO share sales in the ‘privatization of the year’ finalized

TASS Denizcilik, the consortium involving Akfen Holding, Tepe İnşaat, Souter Investments and Sera Gayrimenkul Yatırım, took over all the shares of the Istanbul Fast Ferries, or IDO, on Thursday, according to a statement by Akfen.

6/17/2011 12:00:00 AM
TASS Denizcilik, the consortium involving Akfen Holding, Tepe İnşaat, Souter Investments and Sera Gayrimenkul Yatırım, took over all the shares of the Istanbul Fast Ferries, or IDO, on Thursday, according to a statement by Akfen.

The privatization of IDO, a subsidiary of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, in which the Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera, or TASS, consortium won the auction with an offer of $861 million in April, was finalized with signatures Thursday.

“An agreement concerning the sale of shares was signed between TASS, under joint management, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the other shareholders,” it said.

Commenting on the IDO share transfer, Hamdi Akın, board chairman of Akfen Holding said IDO had a great share in the marine transportation of the Marmara Sea and Istanbul.

“As the Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera consortium, we aim to grow this investment, which is crucial for Istanbul, with new investments that will develop the service quality of the company,” Akın said Thursday in a statement from the company.

There will be no layoffs in IDO, Akın continued in the statement. “On the contrary, we will grow our service quality by increasing human resources. Privatizations are important opportunities to increase the number of employees and service variety.”

The consortium had offered $861 million for the privatization of 100 percent IDO shares. According to a statement from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the revenue obtained from the privatization will be invested in the transportation systems of the city.

IDO, which runs high-speed ferries in Istanbul and to and from nearby cities, provides 40 percent of Istanbul’s maritime transportation. Within the scope of the privatization agreement, Sera Gayrimenkul Yatırım will take a 10 percent share. Tepe İnşaat, Akfen Holding and Souter Investments LLP, owned by Scottish businessman and the founder of international transportation group Stagecoach, Brian Souter, will hold 30 percent of shares each in the complete IDO stake.

Brian Souter said in a written statement that his company was looking forward to making substantial improvements in IDO’s operations. More frequent services on key routes and better integration with land transport services are among their planned developments. “Our goal is to ensure motorists opt for sea bus and ferry transportation rather than making long and frustrating road journeys in and around the congested Istanbul road network.”



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