The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will take a 10.84% stake in the capital of fast-growing Turkish cruise port operator Global Ports Holding.
The bank said the proceeds of its investment, which will enable Global Ports to increase its capital from TRY66.25 million (USD21.79 million) to TRY74.31 million (USD21.44 million), will be used to finance Global Port’s international expansion plans prior to a planned stock exchange listing.
Global Ports, part of the Global Yatirim conglomerate, was set up in 2004 and claimed to be the world’s large cruise port operator last year after it took over Spanish operator Creuers Barcelona.
It currently operates eight cruise and cargo ports in Montenegro, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and its native Turkey and recently announced that it was looking to buy a 30.79% stake in Maltese cruise terminal operator Valletta Cruise Port.
The company is planning to seek an international listing for the 2016-18 period in a move that is expected to clear the way for capital market development in the Turkish port and infrastructure sectors.
EBRD is an international financial institution originally established to help former Soviet bloc countries to become market economies but which has since become active in many other countries.
An EBRD spokeswoman told IHS Maritime that the bank had been investing in Turkey since 2009 and had already financed investment projects at the ports of Mersin and Asyaport.
She said Global Ports is the bank’s first equity investment in a Turkish transport company, however, adding that the bank considers it a medium-term venture, after which it will fully or partially exit once the Initial Public Offering takes place.