November 3, 2017 / 11:06 AM / 2 years ago

Turkey's Global Yatirim eyes green energy deals after London investment

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish investment firm Global Yatirim Holding will focus on renewable energy and infrastructure projects and look to buy an asset manager, its chairman said, as part of a shift in strategy since an investment from London-based fund Centricus.

In June Centricus bought a 31 percent stake in Global Yatirim for 245 million lira ($64 million). The Istanbul-listed firm now plans to exit less profitable operations such as real estate and mining, Chairman Mehmet Kutman told Reuters, and bid for the Turkish government’s next renewable energy tender.

The change in strategy chimes with Turkey’s new long-term energy policy, announced this year, emphasizing renewable energy sources. Turkey, which is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs, in March awarded the first of an expected 10 tenders to build 1,000 megawatt (MW) solar energy plants.

A consortium including South Korea’s Hanwha Corp and local firm Kalyon Holding won that tender, worth at least $1.3 billion.

“We will certainly participate in the second tender with a foreign investor. Our bid will be a bit different and very competitive,” Kutman said in an interview late on Thursday.

Centricus, previously called FAB Partners, was founded by former Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs bankers Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu. The two have advised the $93 billion Softbank Vision Fund, backed by SoftBank Group and its billionaire Japanese founder, Masayoshi Son.

Kutman said Global Yatirim aimed to invest $500 million in biomass plants, which produce energy by incinerating natural waste. The firm is targeting a capacity of 250 MW by 2020. Individual plants have a capacity of 12-24 MW each.

In collaboration with Centricus, Global Yatirim was also looking to buy a non-bank owned asset management company.

Global Yatirim already owns asset management firm Actus Portfoy, which has 632 million lira in assets under management. Acquiring another fund manager would make Global Turkey’s largest non-bank asset manager in terms of assets under management, Kutman said.

“Centricus have faith in that sector and they have a specific interest in Turkey. They want to expand,” he said.

The two firms were also planning to work together and would hold a road show next year to raise $1 billion from foreign investors to finance large infrastructure investments, he said.

Writing by Ece Toksabay and Dirimcan Barut; Editing by David Dolan

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