TODAY’S – Builder of major airport files for bankruptcy protection

Builder of major airport files for bankruptcy protectionKooIlu InIaat, the contractor for a major airport project in southern Turkey, has reportedly filed bankruptcy protection as the company is going through financial difficulties, according to the balance sheet the company recently presented in court.A report published in the Bugun daily on Monday said the Ankara 11th Commercial Court of First Instance has appointed a trustee to serve as the administrator of KooIlu InIaat after the company sought protection in order to strengthen its financial structure, which has long been in trouble.

The construction of ukurova Regional Airport began in the southern province of Mersin in May 2013.As explained in the notice to the court, the company suffered financial difficulties because of the high costs incurred during the construction of the ukurova airport.

According to the notice, the firm met the costs of construction with its own capital for one year after groundbreaking, and it agreed to establish a consortium with four private lenders, including two state-owned banks, in order to secure loans for expenses incurred until that time and to afford further costs in the construction of the airport.Nonetheless, two of the banks that signed the agreement with KooIlu InIaat to provide 236 million euros in loans have withdrawn from the agreement, pushing the contractor into financial difficulty.

Thereafter, the owner of KooIlu InIaat, Iukru KooIlu, who was formerly the president of the Turkish Construction Industry Employersand#39 Union (INTES), sold a hotel, helicopter, private cars and properties he owned in order to sustain the airport project, to no avail.Following the application for bankruptcy protection, the company began seeking partners for the project, according the Bugun report.

If the airport project in Mersin had not been suspended due to financial woes, it would have become Turkeyand#39s largest airport, as the upcoming third airport in Istanbul has yet to be constructed.Construction was projected to be completed before the end of 2015 with an initial capacity to serve 15 million domestic and international passengers per year Earlier this year, several news reports circulated in the Turkish media, claiming that the construction of the ukurova airport had been suspended due to financial difficulties, and that it was at risk of missing its planned completion date of 2015.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman