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Istanbul’s ferry services privatized for USD 861 million  

Today’s Zaman - Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera, a joint venture that offered the highest bid -- USD 861 million -- to acquire the operating rights of Istanbul Ferry Lines (IDO) for 30 years, will intensify its quest to upgrade the current ferry line with diversified services and additional destinations, Akfen Holding CEO Suha Gucsav told reporters on Friday in Istanbul. The winning consortium comprises three Turkish infrastructure and construction groups, Tepe, Akfen and Sera Gayrimenkul and Scottish private investor Brian Souter’s Souter Investments.

Noting that the venture places heavy importance on the IDO acquisition, Gucsav said, “We have purchased a well-established company where there is much room for improvement.” Among the new services and innovations that the venture hopes to offer, he said they planned to open a line between Besiktas and Yalova, offer fast shuttle service to Izmir from Bandirma port along with additional Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) services from the port of Ambarli.

IDO has strong growth potential; the company transported 50 million passengers and 7 million vehicles in 2010. The company’s net profit was TRY 71 million in 2010. The sale needs to be approved by the Turkey's Competition Board (RK) to take effect.
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