Mergers and acquisitions in Turkey hit $20.6 billion in 2007

Today's Zaman - Deloitte Turkey published a report yesterday on merger and acquisition activities in Turkey over the last five years as well as forecasts for 2008. Deloitte said mergers and acquisitions surpassed $20 billion. Of the total $20 billion in mergers and acquisitions, 77 percent -- approximately $15 billion -- were made by foreign investors and 12 percent by private equity funds. Gulf region investors contributed $2.1 billion, approximately 10 percent of all mergers and acquisitions. The largest transaction in 2007 was the acquisition of Oyakbank by Dutch ING group for $2.7 billion. The top five transactions made up 40 percent of the total volume of mergers and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions will continue to increase in the coming three years, the report said. According to the Deloitte report, mergers and acquisitions in 2008 are projected to be around $15 billion, thanks to global financial fluctuations. However, the privatization of electricity distribution, toll roads and bridges, Halkbank, the national lottery, Ankara's natural gas delivery company EGO and Tekel's tobacco division will be the engines of merger and acquisition activities. Meanwhile, reports also forecast that recently sold companies will begin to be purchased by other investors again. Deloitte Turkey Corporate Finance Partner Başak Vardar said Turkey had partially been affected by the global financial turmoil; however, she said the credit crunch after the turmoil would reduce merger and acquisition activities and that Turkey would definitely be affected by this. She said the only way for Turkey to get over this problem will be to sustain economic growth and good investment conditions, adding that what was keeping Turkey attractive was investors' expectation of the continuation of high growth rates.