UniCredit CAIB: ''In 2008 Türkiye will see more mergers and acquisitions''

The Turkish arm of UniCredit CAIB expects mergers and acquisitions activity in Türkiye to increase notably in 2008 and initial public offering (IPO) activity to increase particularly between March to May of next year. Shareholders in many companies were postponing decisions on sales because of the general elections in July. This is likely to be reflected in increased number of deals next spring, Merve Orak Arkan, head of corporate finance at UniCredit CAIB's Istanbul office told the Turkish Daily News yesterday. The Turkish market was relatively less affected by the credit crisis this autumn, Arkan said. "Although the credit crisis led to some volatility in August and September, Türkiye was luckily not that heavily affected by the crisis. Reflective of this is that when European investors were holding their breath, the sale of Turkish shipping concern UN Ro-Ro to U.S. investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for 910 million euros still went ahead." In 2008 UniCredit CAIB's focus for Türkiye will be on mergers and acquisitions, upcoming initial public offerings (IPOs) and on supporting growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through principal investments. "We expect the privatization of electricity distribution companies, which was cancelled in January 2007, to take place in 2008. We have a public mandate with a major U.S.-based power company, which was one of the interested parties in the first deal," said Arkan.