Turkish cement, clinker and ready mix concrete producer Bati Cimento (Baticim) is interested in two of the cement mills, previously owned by the controversial Uzan family, according to Tufan Unal from Bati Cimento. Baticim plans to bid for the cement factories in Eskisehir and Edirne, both in northwestern Turkey, which will be offered in tenders by the Turkish Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).
The Turkish financial authorities seized in February 2004 more than 200 companies owned by the Uzan family, following the collapse of their Imar Bank, to recoup debts totalling nearly $6.0 bln (4.6 bln euro). The Turkish competition board said that the ten cement companies of Uzan, which control shares of 9.0 pct and 12 pct in the cement and clinker markets, respectively, should be sold separately.
Bati Cimento has gained experience in privatisation with the acquisition of a cement mill in Soke, western Turkey. The company has invested in Soke mill more than it pledged to. New investors may enter the sector with the sale of the Uzan cement mills, according to Unal. Cement consumption in Turkey rose by 15 per cent in the first half of 2004, Unal said, adding that the figure is expected at 10 per cent for full 2004 and 2005.