11/9/2009

Turkey in power grid sale success, more deals seen

Reuters - Turkey's privatization agency auctioned off three electricity distribution grids on Friday for a higher than expected USD 1.15 billion, in auctions regarded as paving the way for increased energy privatizations in the short term. The three grids that serve a total of 3.7 million customers were expected to be sold for no more than USD 1 billion, and the high bids gave a positive signal for four more grids being put up for sale on Monday, said the analysts. The Turkish mining company Eti Gumus submitted the highest bid of USD 485 million for the Osmangazi electricity distribution grid in northwestern Turkey, while Calik Enerji submitted the top bid of USD 441.5 million for Yesilirmak grid in northern Turkey. The government is looking to revive the pace of Turkey's privatizations, which have slowed in 2009, aiming for revenues of around USD 7 billion from privatizations in 2010. "We initially estimated USD 1 billion at most, so the result is quite impressive. This round of privatization was going to serve as an indication for further privatizations of distribution grids and also generation facilities, so it is a positive indication", said Irmak Bademli of Eurasia Group.