Chambers concerned about the fate of BMC land in Izmir

Chambers concerned about the fate of BMC land in IzmirIzmir Chamber of Commerce (IZTO) President Ekrem DemitaI and Ender YorgancIlar, chairman of the Aegean Region Chamber of Industry (EBSO), have voiced their concerns that factory land belonging to BMC — which is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in Turkey and is on the verge of being sold to ES Mali YatIrIm — will be used for the new owner’s construction projects, rather than for BMC activities.“The land on which the BMC factories are located totals 175,000 square meters. The [ES Mali YatIrIm] group has been constructing buildings in many locations. I hope this land in Izmir will not be used for construction and that they have not bought the BMC’s land for construction,” DemirtaI.ES Mali YatIrIm, a company owned by Ethem Sancak — who is known for his close relationship with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) — has offered a final bid of TL 725 million in the last round of the BMC tender on Friday.(In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, Defense Minister Ismet YIlmaz inspects test drive of a BMC armored vehicle at a defense fair. Photo: Cihan)The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced in February that BMC would be put up for sale at an estimated value of TL 985 million. Sancak’s firm is the sole company in the tender and made an initial offer of TL 540 million in the first round on Wednesday. On the insistence of bidding committee head Hamit SarI, Sancak increased the bid to TL 725 million. The negotiations of the first round of the tender were broadcast live on TV. Although the tender was technically completed with the last offer of Sancak’s firm, the TMSF’s fund board will issue the final decision regarding the tender.The TMSF seized BMC along with several other companies, including media outlet Show TV, from ukurova Holding last year to collect $455.3 million in debt that ukurova Holding owed the TMSF.In his comments, YorgancIlar also stressed that it is the decision of the winning firm in the BMC bid how it will use the land but that EBSO would like to see BMC manufacturing activities continue.The possible revival of BMC through the sale has also led to speculation that the company will one again become a prominent player in the domestic defense industry by re-launching a project to manufacture Turkey’s first mine-resistant vehicle, the Kirpi (hedgehog), which the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is known to be interested in.The TSK had previously agreed on a deal with the company to produce 468 Kirpi vehicles, but the BMC failed to fulfill the terms due to financial difficulties, resulting in a unilateral termination of the deal by the TSK.The National Police Department may also enter into talks with the BMC for 20 Kirpi vehicles, once the BMC’s new owners start production.

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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