The government’s Privatisation Administration (OIB) invited bids by 3 February from strategic investors for all or part of the government’s 51.66 per cent stake in the Eregli Iron & Steelworks (Erdemir) on the Black Sea. Erdemir is valued at between $600 million-1,200 million.

The proportion to be sold will be determined after receipt of bid. CS First Boston is arranging the sale – the largest since November to come to the markets. On 9 January, bids were invited for airport ground-handler Havas and Sumerbank (MEED 20:1:95).

The OIB says it will sell a sufficient portion of the state’s share in Erdemir in a block sale to an individual investor wishing to maintain management control. The sale to a strategic investor will be finalised through a two-stage evaluation process that could be completed by late spring.

The remainder of the shares will be sold through offerings on the international and local markets and direct sales to employees. Officially, the government has no preference for either local or foreign bidders, but will probably favour foreign/local combinations.

The bidding period is very short but, a large amount of preparatory work has been done already.

Erdemir is one of the most profitable companies in the domestic sector, being the country’s only producer of flat steel products. Its $1,500 million capacity advancement and improvement programme is advanced and will increase its raw steel capacity by around a third to 3 million tonnes annually by 1995-96.

Other large offerings intended by the OIB in 1995 include refined products distributor Petrol Ofisi, probably in February, and later in the year, the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (Tupras), petrochemical giant Petkim, and Turk Hava Yollari (THY – Turkish Airlines).