TURKEY: Bids framed for telecoms privatisation consultancy

30 June 1995

The government's Privatisation Administration (OIB) has invited 23 invitations to bid for the contract to advise on the sale of Turk Telekom (MEED 19:5:95). The deal is expected to contribute much of the $20,000 million targeted in privatisation receipts in 1996.

The firms have been asked to establish consortia, from which six will be shortlisted. Applications for short-listing were due by 27 June.

The 23 names are: Bank Indosuez, Banque Paribas, Bear Stearns, Kleinwort Benson, CS First Boston, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Grenfell, Morgan Stanley, Merill Lynch, N M Rothschild, J P Morgan, J Henry Schroder Wagg, Salomon Brothers, S G Warburg, HSBC, ING Bank, Lazard Freres, Yamaichi, Nomura, Daiwa Securities, UBS and Citibank. Turkish banks and brokerage houses will probably also be included in the consortia.

A law was recently passed providing for the sale of up to 49 per cent of Turk Telekom. However, it also envisages the transfer from this portion of 10 per cent to the PTT, and another 5 per cent to Turk Telekom employees and small investors. The remaining 34 per cent will be offered to both foreign and domestic investors, and will probably be sold in 1996.

The OIB also says it could complete the transfer of licences this year for global standard for mobiles (GSM) systems. In the interim before the bulk of the Turk Telekoms sale in 1996, the OIB has also revived a proposal to sell convertible bonds linked to the telecoms privatisation, mooted early in 1994 but subsequently cancelled because of the economic crisis.

The telecoms announcement has revived interest in the privatisation programme. Tacitly admitting a poor performance so far in 1995, the OIB recently revised its target for receipts during the year downwards to $2,700 million. Deals in the first five months concluded partly on credit totalled around $150 million, but actual receipts totalled only about $70 million.

A revised programme has been announced, including the sale already under bidding of a strategic block in the government's 51 per cent share in the Eregli Iron & Steelworks (Erdemir), shares in refined products distributor Petrol Ofisi, the Yarimca complex of petrochemicals corporation, Petkim, and part of the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation.

These deals would be supplemented by share or asset sales in 12 other small and medium-scale enterprises. But a number of large projects seem to be out of the 1995 picture now, including state flag carrier Turk Hava Yollari (THY)

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