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Emerging Europe: Turkish M&A on the rise

Boosted by a rich run of privatizations, the Turkish M&A market burst into life last year, hitting the highest total value of deals for close to a decade. The hope for 2015 is that the same feat can be repeated. In an election year, anything is possible.


Erdem Basci has cut interest rates to ease the pressure on the Turkish lira

Goldman Sachs doesn’t move into countries very often, so when it does it’s a sure bet the investment bank sees a lucrative opportunity.

Its newest global office in Istanbul – the 26-floor Tekfen Tower in the Levent financial district – opened in early January, ahead of what could be yet another bumper year for privatizations and mergers and acquisitions in the country.

Some $28 billion of privatizations and private-sector M&A transactions were completed in Turkey last year – the highest total value of deals since 2005 when $38 billion of deals were struck. The hope is that a similar value may be struck again, with Goldman no doubt aiming to capture some of that deal-flow.

From Halk Bank’s non-life insurer and pensions business, to Istanbul gas distribution company, Igdas, electricity generation assets and sugar factories, these are just some of the state assets known to be slated for sale this year.

If the Istanbul rumour mill is to be believed, others could include everything from stakes in Turkish Airlines, Halk Bank, Vakifbank, Ziraat Bank, Turk Telecom, Spor Toto, and tenders for Izmir Port, Istanbul’s car park company, motorway toll-roads and bridges that span the Bosphorous strait.

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