Russian Lukoil takes a second look at buying Turkish Akpet

Today's Zaman - Russia-based oil company Lukoil, which entered the Turkish market in 1998, has again taken an interest in acquiring Turkish gas distributor Akpet after its initial attempt failed last year. Lukoil, which currently has around 50 stations mainly in minor cities and on the outskirts of major cities, aims to grow in the Turkish market by forming partnerships or purchasing domestic companies. According to sources in the energy field, Lukoil will hold preliminary negotiations with Akpet, a subsidiary of the Aytemiz Group. If the initial negotiations go well, Lukoil will then launch official negotiations to either buy out Akpet or to form a partnership with the company. Akpet currently operates 700 gas stations across the country. In addition to Russia, Gulf countries are also interested in the Turkish fuel market. According to energy professionals, another leading energy company operating in the Gulf also wants to enter the Turkish fuel market. The oil giant, which reportedly had talks with domestic companies including Akpet and others, will likely invest in Turkey to access the Turkish fuel market, which has an economic volume of around $50 billion. Moreover, it is expected that other major companies in Turkey operating in sectors other than energy also aim to enter the fuel business and reportedly have already launched negotiations.