A $140m deal to purchase Turkey’s Port Akdeniz was signed with Qatar’s QTerminals.
Qatar’s terminal operating company QTerminals purchased Antalya’s Port Akdeniz in a $140 million deal with the Global Ports Holding (GPH), the operator announced on Wednesday.
GPH, the world’s largest independent cruise port operator, said that its largest commercial port concession’s transaction remains conditional. The port body added the timing of the deal’s closing process is uncertain but could be concluded by the end of the year.
“This move is fully aligned with our strategy to become a pure play global cruise port operator and we will continue to pursue growth and innovation in the exciting cruise port market,” said Emre Sayın, GPH’s CEO.
“The proceeds of the sale will eventually turn into ammunition for GPH to strengthen its financial position and to expand in a market where it has a competitive advantage and an unparalleled know-how,” he added.
Mehmet Kutman, GPH’s chairman, added that the deal will further strengthen the strong relations between Qatar and Turkey.
“Although cruise operations continue to be significantly affected by the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, cruise tourism remains important in the long term. Its continued reporting is encouraging for the industry’s return,” said Kutman.
Kutman also said that QTerminals will be an “ideal home” to Port Akdeniz in southern Turkey.
According to the Turkish Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), the cash inflow to be obtained by GPH from this sale will be finalised on the closing day.Qatar will then pay a small portion of the total price 12 months later.
KAP also emphasised the importance of cruise operations even despite the significant effects of the COVID-19 crisis, with cruise companies continuing to report strong bookings for 2021.
“Port Akdeniz has been an integral part of the GPH since 2006 and has played a crucial role in the successful development of the group over the years. However, as we continue to grow in the cruise port market, it is time for Port Akdeniz management to move to an organisation that focuses primarily on the commercial port market,” said Kutman.
Earlier this month, Qatari and Turkish defence ministers inaugurated Al Doha QTS91, a training warship, at the Anadolu shipyard in Istanbul.
Al Doha QTS91 is one of the largest training ships in the world, with the capacity to train 72 cadets. Defence officials aim to utilise the ship to enhance the training capabilities of the Qatari Navy.
Both countries have been allies since 1972, but relations have grown closer since the Gulf crisis was triggered in 2017 after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar.
Turkey rapidly responded by sending Turkish troops to its military base in Qatar in a clear show of support. Turkey’s exports to Qatar tripled in value within days of the blockade.
In 2019, Turkish exports to its Gulf ally saw a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year, with 500 Turkish companies currently operating in Qatar.
The total value of the projects undertaken only by Turkey’s contracting companies stands at $18.5 bn.
Turkey has also become a “safe haven” for investments from Qatari business people, inviting ventures worth $3bn between 2000 and 2019.