TODAY’S – Pro-gov’t firm buys confiscated vehicle maker

Pro-gov’t firm buys confiscated vehicle makerES 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 tender on Friday for BMC, one of the largest truck and bus manufacturers in Turkey.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 was the sole company in the tender with an initial offer of TL 540 million in the first round of the tender 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, 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.The likely revival of BMC through the sale also raised hopes that the company will be able to again be 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, ensuing 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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